For those who wanted Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to win the presidency I don’t think there ever was a time that they thought of him declaring martial law during his term of office.
It never occurred to me even for a second that Duterte would resort to this radical measure, declaring himself a dictator just so he would succeed in getting done what he promised the nation he would do – waged war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption – and finish it all in three to six months time.
We know for a fact now that these evils in our society cannot be wiped out at the time table Duterte has set, but we also know for a fact now that people are seeing the positive socio-political transformation this country is slowly undergoing because of who he is – his toughness, his determination, his love for country, his compassion for the people and most of all his unorthodox leadership that has endeared him to most Filipinos.
How many times had Duterte promised in his speeches, before and even today, that in doing what is paramount for the country and its people he will put at stake his honor, his life and even the presidency itself just so there will be clean and honest governance, safety environment, peace and stability.
I think Duterte has much respect for fairness and justice and what the Constitution stands for that becoming another Marcos and trampling the civil liberties of the Filipinos he has been sworn to serve is not the kind of person that he is, much less the kind of person some insecure politicians portray him to be.
If ever we see Duterte making his rounds in military camps all over the country motivating and promising them added troops, better equipment and brighter future it is simply because he wants the country to be well protected and secured from internal strife.
Definitely it has nothing to do with preparing them and selfishly winning them to his side because of narcissistic and evil intentions – like declaring martial law.
That is why it boggles my mind when the likes of Sen. Leila de Lima, a known critic of Duterte, immediately peddles and sows fear about imposition of martial law, describing it very worrisome, like when Duterte rebuke Supreme Court(SC) CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno for her seemingly biased interpretation and defense of some judges named by him as being involved in illegal drugs, which in effect defied Duterte’s order for them to report to the SC.
Obviously this did not sit well with Duterte prompting the latter to ask, “Why do you want me to declare martial law?”
De Lima describes Duterte’s latest outburst against Sereno as a sign of dictatorial tendency.
“This is what I’ve been calling the slippery slope towards totalitarianism”, de Lima said.
C’mon! As if you do not know Duterte at all! De Lima’s claim, like others, are all nonsense.
But maybe de Lima can take solace, if not assurance, in what Duterte’s spokesperson, Ernesto Abella, said in a press briefing: “There is no need to worry about martial law. As President Duterte said, ‘I want to make specific changes without having to do martial law.”
Better believe it!