MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he is tempted to declare martial law because of the illegal drug trade in the Philippines.
Speaking to the Jewish community at the Beit Yaacov Synagogue in Makati City, Duterte said he wants to stop "narcopolitics" in the country.
The president earlier released lists of the names of politicians and other public officials allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
"There are 6,000 barangay captains doing their own thing, manufacturing shabu. How am I supposed to deal with... sometimes I am tempted, really, to declare martial law. But it is not feasible, they say, well, fine," he said.
Duterte said "narcopolitics" is the reason why he declared a state of lawlessness.
"That's why I declared state of lawlessness, because narcopolitics has entered my country," he said.
Duterte placed the Philippines under a state of lawless violence in early September, following an explosion in his hometown Davao City.
He explained that the declaration is different from martial law as there will be "no curfews" and "no suspension of the writ of habeas corpus."
Duterte said the declaration will be in place until he feels that the country "is already safe" from the threat of terrorism and narcotics.