MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo only heightened fears of a return to martial rule by condemning President Rodrigo Duterte's recent statements on its possible reimposition, Malacanang said Tuesday.
"The Vice President Leni seems to have amplified the concerns and seems to make it appear as if the President was actually planning on doing it," presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said at a press briefing.
Duterte had suggested that the declaration of martial law should be the sole prerogative of the President.
Robredo promptly issued a statement, saying: "The threat of a return to martial law and one-man rule is the worst Christmas gift to the Filipino people.”
Duterte lamented how under the 1987 Constitution, the declaration of martial law is subject to approval of Congress.
Abella said the President's statement should be taken in context.
"The President was simply saying that if martial law were to be taken for what it is supposed to be, which is to protect and preserve the safety of the people, then it should be facilitated," he said.