Duterte: I will declare martial law if I have to

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President Rodrigo Duterte says not even the Supreme Court or Congress can stop him from declaring martial law if it means saving the country.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he won't hesitate to declare martial law if only to "preserve" the nation.

Stressing that he is not out to extend his term as president, he said not even the Supreme Court or Congress can stop him if he decides to declare martial law.

According to Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, the President is required to submit a report to Congress within 48 hours after declaring Martial Law.

Congress can revoke the President's proclamation through a joint-vote by at least a majority of all its members.

Congress also has the power to extend the duration of martial law from the initial 60-day limit.

Any citizen can also petition the Supreme Court to review the proclamation.

"If I have to declare martial law, I will declare it. Not about invasion, insurrection. Not about danger. I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period. Wala akong pakialam diyan sa [I do not care about the] Supreme Court because the thing, the right to preserve one's life and my nation, my country, transcends, even everything else. Even the limitation," he said before members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce.

"Kung gusto ko at [If I want to and] it will deteriorate into something really very virulent I will declare martial law if I wanted to. Walang makapigil sa akin [Nothing can stop me]," he added.

President Duterte said the 1987 Constitution "destroyed" the provision on martial law when it gave the Supreme Court and Congress authority to review a declaration.

He said opposing positions from the two separate branches of government could place a president in a difficult predicament.

"The martial law provisions really to defend the country, sinira nung sa Cory Constitution because of the hangover nila sa Martial Law [were destroyed during the Cory Constitution because of their hangover from Martial Law]."

He added, "So here is Congress and here is the Supreme Court drawn into a stalemate just to have the safety nets of an abusive despot, a dictator. Saan ka ngayon pupunta ngayon diyan [Where will you go from there]?"

President Duterte previously said he believes the Constitutional provision on martial law should be amended.

Read: Duterte eyes changing martial law provision in Constitution

Saguisag: 'Unproclaimed martial law' in place

Former Senator Rene Saguisag believes there is no longer a need for President Duterte to declare martial law, as he has been carrying it out for the past six months.

He said, "What would Digong need a formal declaration of martial law for? We have an unproclaimed martial law in our new police state where he decides who will live and who will die."

Saguisag likens the President's war on drugs to an "unproclaimed martial law."

He said, "Instead of proclaiming a state of lawless violence, he has proclaimed a state of lawlessness, which one sees in media daily."

Reacting to Duterte's statement about declaring martial law only to "preserve" the nation, the former Senator said, "Formally inflicting martial law would not change anything. We have had a Police State for months now, victimizing the poorest of the poor, who will suffer more while our values, institutions, and processes continue to be damaged. Our damaged culture will decay."