MANILA – A formal declaration of the state of lawlessness in response to the Davao City blast that left scores dead or injured will be made today, a Palace spokesperson said.
Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan of the Presidential Communications Office said President Rodrigo Duterte will sign a proclamation declaring the state of lawlessness before he leaves for Laos Monday for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
''The proclamation has been drafted and we are waiting for the signature of the president. The crafting took some time in order [for it] to be clear as possible, so there would be no rumor-mongering as to what the intention of the proclamation is,'' Ablan said in a press briefing.
READ: What is 'state of lawlessness'?
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the declaration will allow uniformed personnel to run the country ''according to his specifications."
Amid concerns that the declaration will pave the way for violation of human rights, Duterte and Palace officials guaranteed that the state of lawlessness is not tantamount to a declaration of Martial Law.
Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella also said the declaration was provided for under the 1987 Constitution.
Abella quoted Article VII, Section 18 of the charter, which read: "The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion."