Executive order on state of lawlessness expected soon
President Rodrigo Duterte’s executive order on a declaration of state of lawlessness is expected to be released soon.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a radio interview a draft is being prepared in the executive office and may be released Sunday or Monday.
He said Duterte’s announcement of a state of lawlessness on Saturday has taken effect and an executive order is a formality.
Panelo said the state of lawlessness gives Duterte the power to use security forces according to the constitution.
He quoted Section 18, Article 17 of the Constitution, “the President as a commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when necessary can call out the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent or suppress violence.”
He said the country has a wide problem in terms of illegal drugs, criminality, terrorism, the Abu Sayyaf group.
“These four conditions that prompted Duterte president to declare a state of lawless violence,” he said.
Due to the declaration, Panelo said the public should not be surprised if there will be a lot of checkpoints.
He said the bombing in Davao City didn’t trigger Duterte to declare the state of lawlessness.
“It is actually in the planning stage, and we were drafting a proclamation even before the incident,” he added.
The scope of the declaration, according to Panelo is not localized as the problems are being felt nationwide.
“Threats are also here in Metro Manila and other major cities. They threatened to bomb us. People involved in illegal drugs are all over the land, as well as criminality that’s why it is declared nationwide,” Panelo explained.
He said the government’s goal is to keep Filipinos safe and the declaration will not lead to martial law.
“Nor it will not lead to the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Nothing has changed, we can do our thing, our normal activities. The only difference is we should be alert,” he added.
“We have nothing to fear because those who need to worry are those who are against the government and for the tranquility of the country,” he said. Ella Dionisio