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Philippine president Duterte threatens martial law in face of drug problem

16 January 2017 8:17

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he will disregard the country’s Supreme Court and Congress and impose martial law if the drug problem becomes worse.

“I don’t care about the Supreme Court because of the right to preserve one’s life and my nation,” RT quoted Duterte as saying on Sunday.

Addressing the Philippines’ Chamber of Commerce, Duterte stressed that defending his country is paramount to any manner of legal hindrances.

“If I wanted to, and it will deteriorate into something really very virulent, I will declare martial law,” he said, adding that “my country transcends everything else, even the limitations.”

Based upon the country’s constitution, martial law can be imposed in the case of a foreign invasion or an armed rebellion. The state can be revoked by the Supreme Court and Congress.

Martial law was last imposed in the Philippines in the 1970s by the order of former President Ferdinand Marcos in an attempt to halt a leftist insurgency. During that decade, the government was accused of human rights abuses.

Over 6,000 people have been killed in the country’s drug war, according to a December 19 government report. Duterte has been under fire for the harsh crackdown.

Since coming to power, Duterte has been ridiculing the United States, European Union, and United Nations over their concerns that extrajudicial killings may be taking place during his crackdown.

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