MANILA - Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said there is "a place" for the declaration of Martial Law in the country, and that place is only during times of war.
During an interview on radio station DZRH, Marcos Jr. was asked how he would deal with an imaginary scenario wherein People Power would be initiated on the day he would take his oath as president. He said he would finish his oath first, before tackling the unrest.
"What could the problem be? What is the problem? Alamin muna natin yun. So you negotiate. Ala naman we will start a civil war? Di natin gugustuhin yun. So you make sure that the safety, you have to defend the republic from this kind of threat," he said.
(Let's find that out first. So you negotiate. Why would we start a civil war? We wouldn't want that.)
"First, you solidify, you solidify your position. You stabilize the position of government para meron kang gobyernong pinagungunahan, and then use the powers of government to negotiate and say, 'bakit ganito? Bakit nagka-ganyan?'"
(You stabilize the position of government so you have a government to lead, and then use the powers of government to negotiate and say, 'Why is it like this? Why did this happen?')
He said that civil war would be dangerous for civilians, though he said the law would be on the government's side. But he would work to make an agreement with protesters to prevent violence.
"The law is very clear that if you are trying sedition, if you are trying to bring the state down, duly elected, properly elected with the government, with a mandate from the people, eh dapat hindi nila pabagsakin through violent means. Siguro naman yung batas ay nasa panig natin kapag ganyan ang nangyari," Marcos Jr. said.
(The law is very clear that if you are trying (to commit) sedition, if you are trying to bring the state down, duly elected, properly elected with the government, with a mandate from the people, then they shouldn't bring it down through violent means. I suppose the law will be on our side if something like that happens.)
"I keep saying 'wag lang magputukan'. Kahit na matagal tayo dito linggo-lingo mag-titinginan, kahit mag-mumurahan tayo, basta wag kayo magpapa-putok. That's a similar situation sa China, may magkamali lang, makalabit lang yung baril, marinig na putok, tuloy-tuloy na yan."
(I keep saying 'just don't shoot'. Even if we spend weeks looking at each other, even swearing at each other, as long as we don't shoot each other. That's a similar situation with China; somebody does something wrong, pulls the trigger on a gun, someone hears a shot fire off, then it'll start from there.)
When asked if he would declare Martial Law during this imaginary scenario, Marcos Jr. said such a "sudden move" would harden the people's position against the government.
"Kailangan very mahinahon ang ating galaw dahil magkamali lang ng konti, ang daming masasaktan," he said.
(We need to be very calm here because if we make one small mistake, many will get hurt.)
"Martial law, may lugar naman ang martial law eh. Martial law pag sa giyera, pag may giyera kailangan mag martial law talaga dahil ang umiiral, ang gumagalaw talaga, ang sinusundan natin ay yung military," he added. "It has its place, but solely for war."
(There's a place for martial law. Martial law is declared during times of war; it is necessary because we would all be following the military.)
His father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, proclaimed Martial Law over the Philippines on September 23, 1972, citing a communist threat seeking to overthrow the government. From there, he would continue to rule the country until his ouster in the 1986 People Power Revolution.