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ON THREAT TO IMPOSE MARTIAL LAW, DUTERTE LETTING OFF STEAN AS MENACE APPEARED TO CONTINUE - AGUIRRE
[RELATED: ‘If martial law looms, I’ll keep quiet about it’]


JANUARY 17 -Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
President Duterte was just letting off steam when he threatened to ignore the Constitution and declare martial law, frustrated that despite his brutal war on drugs, the menace appeared to be continuing, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. The Philippine National Police also said on Monday that it was “100 percent” behind Mr. Duterte, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it did not see a need to recommend the proclamation of martial law. The President’s remarks at the weekend, saying that if the drug problem “deteriorates into something really virulent, I will declare martial law” and “nobody can stop me,” sparked concern among opposition senators and congressmen. READ MORE...RELATED,
‘If martial law looms, I’ll keep quiet about it’...

ALSO: There's a 'wide difference' between Marcos & Duterte - Panelo
[RELATED: Duterte lawyer on martial law fears - Digong is not Marcos]


JANUARY 16 -President Rodrigo Duterte answers queries from the media at a restaurant in Davao City on Aug. 24, 2016. PPD/Karl Norman Alonzo, File
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday allayed fears sparked by President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement on martial law, saying it is not within the chief executive’s character to abuse his powers. Panelo said Duterte is different from former President Ferdinand Marcos, who placed the Philippines under Martial Law in 1972 supposedly to curb communist insurgency and other threats. “There are safeguards under the present Constitution. But we must remember that there is a wide difference between Marcos and Mr. Duterte,” Panelo told dwFM in an interview. “Let us remember that it is very out of the character of President Duterte to be abusive. In fact, that characterizes his service as mayor and as president. He hates abuses,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte lawyer on martial law fears: Digong is not Marcos...

ALSO: AMID ISIS THREAT - Duterte says, "No martial law, but it could be done quietly if needed"
[RELATED: Duterte denies plan to declare martial law but he wou:ld stay quiet if he decides to do so]


President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he agreed with the military assessment that there was no need to declare martial law, even as he raised the ...threat of Islamist terror groups on the Philippines. Days after saying no one could stop him if he wanted to do so, Duterte also stressed that no one could keep him from imposing military rule if need be, adding that he would so quietly. "I will not declare martial law. Kung magde-declare man ako, hindi ako mag-ingay. At magtanong anong basis, p— ina ka, wala kang pakialam. Basta tumahimik kayong lahat," Duterte said to applause in Cabanatuan City. Duterte questioned the wisdom of having to take up the validity of a martial law declaration with Congress or the Supreme Court. "Ganoon iyan eh. Sino ba namang gagong presidente, 'Mag-declare ako ng martial law. O Supreme Court, pwede ba ito? Congress?' Basta ako, it is not found in the Constitution," Duterte said. READ MORE...RELATED, Duterte denies plan to declare martial law but he wou:ld stay quiet if he decides to do so...

ALSO: Trillanes  pounced on Duterte’s martial law warning
[RELATED: LP SEMATORS ASKED TO MAKE A CHOICE: Solons want to draw clear line for majority]


JANUARY 16 -SENATE PROBE ON DRUG WAR / AUGUST 22, 2016 -Senator Antonio Trillanes during the hearing of Committee on Justice and Human Rights at the Senate in Pasay City on alleged extra judicial killings amid the government campaign against illegal drugs.INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES
“All freedom-loving Filipinos should start preparing to fight another dictator,” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare martial law, “to protect the Filipino people” and “to preserve my nation.” “Soldiers should also start reviewing their constitutional mandate,” Trillanes, Duterte’s vocal critic, said in a statement.
READ: Martial law eyed in war on drugs But Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III quickly doused fears of the President declaring martial law, saying the Chief Executive would not do it without consultations. READ MORE...RELATED, Solons want to draw clear line for majority...

ALSO: Trillanes, Zubiri nearly trade blows at Senate session
[RELATED: Pacman breaks up Trillanes vs Zubiri set-to]


JANUARY 17 -Sen. Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV engage in a heated argument during a session on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 17, 2017. Mark Pimentel for Philstar.com MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was forced to suspend plenary session on Tuesday afternoon following a heated debate between Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri. Trillanes and Zubiri nearly exchanged blows following a debate on which panel will investigate the bribery scandal case in the Bureau of Immigration. Zubiri said he was offended by the statement of Trillanes that he and Sen. Richard Gordon wanted to whitewash the Senate probe on the matter. He stressed that the Blue Ribbon Committee has always been the panel that investigated such issues. READ MORE...RELATED, Pacman breaks up Trillanes vs Zubiri set-to...


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WAR ON ILLEGAL DRUGS: On threat to impose martial law, Duterte just frustrated—Aguirre


Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, JANUARY 23, 2016 (INQUIRER) By Gil Cabacungan, Jerome Aning, Leila B. Salaverria January 17, 2017- - President Duterte was just letting off steam when he threatened to ignore the Constitution and declare martial law, frustrated that despite his brutal war on drugs, the menace appeared to be continuing, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

The Philippine National Police also said on Monday that it was “100 percent” behind Mr. Duterte, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it did not see a need to recommend the proclamation of martial law.

The President’s remarks at the weekend, saying that if the drug problem “deteriorates into something really virulent, I will declare martial law” and “nobody can stop me,” sparked concern among opposition senators and congressmen.

READ MORE...

“It’s just an angry expression from the President and the public, especially the media should not be surprised and rather be already accustomed to this mindset of the President,” Justice Secretary Aguirre told reporters.

Aguirre said the President was so “exasperated” by the National Bureau of Investigation’s seizure of 890 kilograms of “shabu” (crystal meth), worth P6 billion, from the Red Dragon syndicate from China that he would have shot the six people arrested in the raid on a San Juan City townhouse.

Reality bites

Aguirre said he was proud of overseeing the “single largest drug haul in Philippine history,” which he believed should be evidence that the President’s drug war was “winnable.”

“It symbolizes what is possible and what can be achieved if everyone works toward a common goal. Let us prove to all that under the Duterte presidency, crime will never pay. No refuge, no respite and no letup in our war against criminals. Let this be a jumping off point for greater achievements. Let this be a motivation for everyone to scale greater heights until we win this war,” Aguirre said in a speech at the justice department on Monday.

The President’s chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, said in a radio interview on Monday: “He is telling us the reality on the ground. If it becomes virulent and it is really needed, then it is his duty, constitutional duty, to declare martial law. And you must remember that the very reason precisely by the framers of the Constitution in putting that emergency power is to preserve our country from chaos.”


PANELO

The 1987 Constitution states that the President may declare martial law only in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it.

Panelo said Mr. Duterte was not like dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Let us remember that it is very out of character for President Duterte to be abusive. In fact, that is the basis of his rule as mayor and as President. He does not like abuse,” he said.

‘Nobody can stop me’
The President’s latest statements drew concern, especially since just weeks ago, he said martial law did nothing good for the country.

But on Saturday night, Mr. Duterte said: “I don’t care about the Supreme Court, because the thing, the right to preserve one’s life and my nation, my country transcends everything else even the limitation. If I want to and it will deteriorate into something really virulent, I will declare martial law if I wanted to. Nobody can stop me.”

Director General Ronald dela Rosa said the 160,000-strong PNP was prepared to support the President’s martial law declaration “100 percent.”

JUST ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED

But the PNP chief said the President was probably just angry and frustrated.

“He knows that he wouldn’t do it if the reasons, bases or the chances are not there. But if the situation is really hopeless, he will show his decisiveness,” Dela Rosa said.

Political decision

The military does not see a need to recommend martial law now, said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.

“Right now, we are able to operate and catch all the people who have been perpetrating violence and we are operating within the bounds of law. Currently, we are able to accomplish our mission without the complexity of needing to have any kind of special rule applied,” said the AFP spokesperson.

Padilla said that martial law was a political decision by Mr. Duterte as Commander in Chief.

“Whatever political decisions there are will need to be assessed by our political leaders. And when they are passed down the line, then the whole government follows,” he said.

DRILON

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said the administration should exercise prudence in making public statements “that are very disturbing and could cause undue fear and tension in the country.”

“Soldiers should also start reviewing their constitutional mandate,” said Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who led two failed coup attempts by taking over swank hotels during the Arroyo administration.

Trillanes said Mr. Duterte was “conditioning” the minds of the people to expect the declaration of martial law.

RECTO

Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto said the President’s statement should be dismissed as among his “outlandish threats.”

“Rebellion has been tamed. No foreign army is steaming toward our shores to invade us. And as the President himself likes to brag, crime is down and the people are safe in their homes and communities,” Recto said. —WITH REPORTS FROM NIKKO DIZON AND CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘If martial law looms, I’ll keep quiet about it’ 1 SHARES 0 0 0 Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2017 - 12:00pm


“I will not declare martial law. Kung magde-declare ako ng martial law, di ako mag-iingay. Pag may magtanong anong basis, t*** i** ka wala kang pakilalam basta tumahimik kayong lahat (If I will declare martial law, I won’t create noise. If someone asks what is the basis, son of a b****, I don’t care. Just keep quiet),” Duterte said yesterday during the 20th anniversary of the Premiere Medical Center here. PPD/Ace Morandante

CABANATUAN CITY, Philippines – President Duterte sees no compelling reason to declare martial law at this time, but if he decides to do it, he would do so quietly.

“I will not declare martial law. Kung magde-declare ako ng martial law, di ako mag-iingay. Pag may magtanong anong basis, t*** i** ka wala kang pakilalam basta tumahimik kayong lahat (If I will declare martial law, I won’t create noise. If someone asks what is the basis, son of a b****, I don’t care. Just keep quiet),” Duterte said yesterday during the 20th anniversary of the Premiere Medical Center here.

Related Stories MPC denies misreporting

Rody’s martial law remarks “It is not found in the Constitution. It is not written there. But if I feel, as a President, that I have to preserve the country, I will declare martial law,” he added.

Last Saturday, Duterte said he would declare martial law if the drug problem becomes “very virulent,” raising public concerns that he might be setting the stage for a dictatorship.

Malacañang had clarified that the President has been against martial rule and accused the media of misreporting his statement and sowing panic among the people.

While saying that he is not inclined to declare martial law, Duterte cited threats in Mindanao that he claimed the media missed when he made his point. These include the threat posed by the terrorist group Islamic State (IS), which he said has “contaminated” Mindanao.

“The military was right that there is no compelling reason but I will just fill you in in the days to come. IS coming in very fast and Mindanao is a pure case of rising nationalism,” he said.

“Yun ang delikado. Hindi pa dadating iyon (That is dangerous. It’s not yet in the offing). The media were not listening. They only heard martial law. I am not stupid. We are brighter than them,” Duterte added.

Duterte said he would not use his “God-given” task for “flimsy” reasons and to perpetuate himself in power.

“I will tell you now, please listen very carefully, am I exceedingly happy or I am glad that I am the President? I can give you the answer, truthfully, in my mouth, I do not need it at the time of my life,” he said.

While he claimed to be no fan of martial law, the President has repeatedly brought up the topic in his previous speeches.

Last August, Duterte scored Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno for meddling with his crackdown on illegal drugs and threatened to declare martial law if she continues to interfere in the campaign.

Two months later, Duterte disclosed that there were times that he was tempted to place the country under martial law due to security problems facing the country.

Last month, Duterte criticized the constitutional provisions on martial law that require the declaration to be reviewed by Congress and the Supreme Court.

Duterte said the president may decide on his own if the findings of Congress and the Supreme Court about the martial law declaration contradict each other.

Duterte reiterated the point during yesterday’s speech, saying the requirement could encourage him to become a “despot.”

“Any citizen of this country can question the legal basis for declaring martial law,” he said.

“If the SC says it has no basis but Congress says go ahead because national security is at stake, the two would clash. Now who decides? It will be me,” Duterte added.

‘Narco pols’ warned anew

Meanwhile, the President warned anew politicians on his narco list that they would eventually end up in “ashes” to enrich the memorial parks in Nueva Ecija.

Frustrated over the magnitude of the drug problem, Duterte said it would be a matter of time before the drug lords and operators are made accountable for their sins.

“Kaya ito, that’s 6,000 drug personalities spread all throughout the country, including here in Nueva Ecija,” he said.

Last week, Duterte said he would not hesitate to kill narco mayors on his list.

The President reiterated that he could not solve the drug problem alone.

He said he sought the help of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on how to deal with the problem.

Duterte said barangay and police officials were also linked to drug operations in the country.

He admitted that he would run out of bullets to execute the drug suspects even if Congress would empower him to kill all the drug personalities. – With Christina Mendez


PHILSTAR

Panelo: There's a 'wide difference' between Marcos and Duterte By Alexis Romero (philstar.com) | Updated January 16, 2017 - 5:18pm 1 6 googleplus1 0


President Rodrigo Duterte answers queries from the media at a restaurant in Davao City on Aug. 24, 2016. PPD/Karl Norman Alonzo, File

MANILA, Philippines — Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Monday allayed fears sparked by President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement on martial law, saying it is not within the chief executive’s character to abuse his powers.

Panelo said Duterte is different from former President Ferdinand Marcos, who placed the Philippines under Martial Law in 1972 supposedly to curb communist insurgency and other threats.

“There are safeguards under the present Constitution. But we must remember that there is a wide difference between Marcos and Mr. Duterte,” Panelo told dwFM in an interview.

“Let us remember that it is very out of the character of President Duterte to be abusive. In fact, that characterizes his service as mayor and as president. He hates abuses,” he added.

READ MORE...

Panelo stressed that the president would only declare martial law under certain conditions.

"IF"

“I think the message of the president is very clear. It is as he said, ‘if.’ It is when ‘if’ the situation. He is telling us the reality on the ground. If it becomes virulent and if it is really needed, then it is his duty — constitutional duty to declare martial law,” the chief presidential legal counsel said.

“And you must remember that the very reason precisely by the framers of the Constitution in putting that emergency power is to preserve our country from chaos. He was correct when he said ‘when necessary,’” he added.

Panelo also disputed notions that Duterte may declare martial law to remain in power.

“He already said, you want to oust me, go ahead, to kill me, go ahead. But for as long as I am the president I will do what is dictated by the Constitution,” he said.

“He said if I declare martial law, he would not do it to extend his term, he will do it for all of us. He will do it to preserve our country.”

Duterte had claimed that Martial Law did nothing to improve the lives of Filipinos but has mentioned the possibility of declaring it in his recent speeches.

Last Saturday, Duterte said he would declare martial law if the drug problem has become “very virulent,” drawing fears that the president may be setting the predicate to implement the policy. Duterte also criticized the constitutional provision subjecting a martial law declaration to the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court, saying it was borne out of a “hangover” of the experiences during the Marcos regime.

READ: Duterte to declare martial law if drug problem becomes ‘virulent’

Malacañang has maintained that Duterte is against martial law and scored what it described as “inaccurate reporting” of his statement.

“The president has categorically said no to martial law. He even made a pronouncement saying that martial law did not improve the lives of the Filipinos,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement last Sunday.

“We, therefore, decry the latest misreporting that the president will declare martial law simply ‘if he wants to’ or that ‘no one can stop the president from declaring martial law.’

Such headlines sow panic and confusion to many. We consider this kind of reportage as the height of journalistic irresponsibility,” he added.

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RELATED FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Duterte lawyer on martial law fears: Digong is not Marcos Published January 16, 2017 5:25pm By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News

President Rodrigo Duterte is not Ferdinand Marcos.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made the remark amid renewed fears that Duterte was considering the declaration of martial law.

"We must remember that there is a wide difference between Marcos and Mr. Duterte. Tandaan po natin na si Presidente Duterte is a very out of character na nang-aabuso," Panelo said in a radio interview.

"In fact, iyon nga ang naging batayan ng kanyang panunungkulan bilang alkade at bilang presidente, ayaw na ayaw niya ng abuso," he added.

On Saturday, Duterte said that he would declare martial law if the integrity of the country was threatened.

He identified the drug menace as the top threat the country was facing.

"Hindi ba sinasabi niya na, 'You want to oust me, go ahead, to kill me, go ahead. But for as long as I am the President I will do what is dictated by the Constitution'," Panelo said.

"Sinabi niya kahapon, 'Magde-declare man ako ng martial law, hindi para palawigin ang aking termino, para sa atin lahat iyon. Gagawin ko lang iyan upang pangalagaan ang ating bansa at i-preserve ang ating bayan'," he added.

"Iyon na iyon. Klarong-klaro naman iyan and I keep on saying that... Kasasabi niya na 'if'... kung kinakailangan,'" Panelo said.

Duterte counts among his key allies members of the Marcos family, particularly former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.

He has repeatedly adverted to Imee as one of the few governors who supported his presidential candidacy in 2016.

One of his campaign promises was to allow the burial of the late strongman Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, according to the wishes of the dictator's heirs.

The vow was fulfilled in November days after the Supreme Court junked petitions against the controversial burial.

Malacañang on Monday criticized the media for the way it reported Duterte's remarks on martial law.

"We therefore decry the latest misreporting that the President will declare martial law simply 'if he wants to' or that 'no one can stop the President from declaring martial law'," said Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in a statement.

"Such headlines sow panic and confusion to many. We consider this kind of reportage as the height of journalistic irresponsibility," he added. —NB, GMA News


GMA NEWS NETWORK

AMID ISIS THREAT Duterte: No martial law, but it could be done quietly if needed Published January 18, 2017 7:23pm By TRISHA MACAS, GMA News


President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he agreed with the military assessment that there was no need to declare martial law, even as he raised the ...threat of Islamist terror groups on the Philippines.

Days after saying no one could stop him if he wanted to do so, Duterte also stressed that no one could keep him from imposing military rule if need be, adding that he would so quietly.

"I will not declare martial law. Kung magde-declare man ako, hindi ako mag-ingay. At magtanong anong basis, p— ina ka, wala kang pakialam. Basta tumahimik kayong lahat," Duterte said to applause in Cabanatuan City.

Duterte questioned the wisdom of having to take up the validity of a martial law declaration with Congress or the Supreme Court.

"Ganoon iyan eh. Sino ba namang gagong presidente, 'Mag-declare ako ng martial law. O Supreme Court, pwede ba ito? Congress?' Basta ako, it is not found in the Constitution," Duterte said.

READ MORE...

"It is not written there but if I feel as President that I have to preserve my country, I will declare martial law, pero kung sabihin lang ninyo na peace and order ganoon," he added.

An Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman earlier this week said that it saw no need to recommend the President's declaration of martial law.

Duterte agreed but adverted to developments regarding ISIS.

"Ngayon, tama ang military. There is no compelling reason [to declare Martial Law]. But I will just fill you in the days to come. It's ISIS is coming in very fast. Itong Mindanao is a pure case of rising nationalism," Duterte said.

"Ngayon, iba na ang istorya because the ISIS contaminated Mindanao," he added.

Duterte then turned his attention to media reporting on his pronouncements.

"Ang media kasi hindi nakikinig eh. Ang naririnig lang nila martial law. Hindi ako stupid. Mas bright tayo sa kanila. Alam mo sa totoo lang, kung mas bright sila sa akin, sila ngayon ang gumagamit nito," Duterte said.

"Eh ako bright. And besides it's a God-given not even gift but it's a God-given task and I won't do it for a flimsy reason," he added. —NB/JST, GMA News

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA TIMES

Duterte denies plan to declare martial law but he wou:ld stay quiet if he decides to do so BY CATHERINE S. VALENTE, TMT ON JANUARY 18, 2017 TOP STORIES

CABANATUAN CITY: President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he does not plan to place the country under military rule, but added he would stay quiet if he decides to do so.

In remarks during the 20th anniversary of the Premier Medical Center, Duterte said he found no reason or relevance for such declaration.

“I will not declare martial law. And if I declare martial law I will not make noise…it is not found in the Constitution. It is not written there,” the President said, as he cited a military statement that there was “no compelling reason” to impose martial rule in the country.

“But if I feel as a President that I have to preserve my country, I will declare martial law. But if you say it’s just to maintain peace and order, the military is correct, there is no compelling reason, really. But I will just fill you in as the days come. [The Islamic State] is coming in very fast and Mindanao is a pure case of rising nationalism,” he added.

The President pointed out that the 1987 Constitution allows any Filipino citizen to file a petition before the Supreme Court to question the basis for a martial law declaration.

'HATRED' FOR STRONGMAN FERDINAND MAROS

He said that the framers of the 1987 Constitution “destroyed” the provisions on martial law because of their “hatred” for the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Meanwhile, different opinions in Congress and the Supreme Court, co-equal branches of government, may produce a dilemma for the Executive, he pointed out.

“Who decides? Of course it’s the President…It will discourage me to become a despot because I now can interpret the law itself and it is final,” Duterte said.

Earlier, Duterte said he would declare martial law if the drug problem in the country becomes “virulent.” His communications chief, Secretary Martin Andanar, then hit the media for “misreporting” the President’s statement.

Duterte has repeatedly raised the idea of declaring martial law in his speeches, at times dismissing the need for
it and on certain occasions announcing his intention to use it to fight the drug menace.

Journalists covering Malacañang on Thursday cried foul over Palace officials’ claims that the media misreported President Duterte’s remarks on martial law.

In a statement, the Malacanang Press Corps. (MPC) said there was nothing wrong with the media coverage of the President’s remarks.

“We take exception to the statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar accusing the media of ‘misreporting’ President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement about Martial Law. A review of the President’s speech last Saturday in Davao City would reveal that the media merely paraphrased or translated some of his remarks,” the MPC said.

“The media has no obligation to please or satisfy its sources because its loyalty is to the citizens, those who will be affected by the actions of people who are far more powerful than them,” the MPC said.


INQUIRER

Trillanes pounced on Duterte’s martial law warning By: Maila Ager - Reporter / @MAgerINQ INQUIRER.net / 12:49 PM January 16, 2017


SENATE PROBE ON DRUG WAR / AUGUST 22, 2016 -Senator Antonio Trillanes during the hearing of Committee on Justice and Human Rights at the Senate in Pasay City on alleged extra judicial killings amid the government campaign against illegal drugs.INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

“All freedom-loving Filipinos should start preparing to fight another dictator,” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Monday after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare martial law, “to protect the Filipino people” and “to preserve my nation.”

“Soldiers should also start reviewing their constitutional mandate,” Trillanes, Duterte’s vocal critic, said in a statement.

READ: Martial law eyed in war on drugs

But Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III quickly doused fears of the President declaring martial law, saying the Chief Executive would not do it without consultations.

READ MORE...

“Don’t worry about martial law declaration. I’m sure the President would make a lot of consultations before doing that. And he will be reminded about the constitutional provisions about martial law,” Pimentel said in a text message to reporters.

HONTIVEROS

Senator Risa Hontiveros warned the President of courting the people’s ire “with his threats of dictatorship.”

“I thought the government said it’s winning the war on drugs? So why is President Duterte contemplating now imposing martial law as a response to the drug problem? Why does the President seem so obsessed with dictatorial rule when the majority of the people want democratic governance?” Hontiveros said in another statement.

She cited the latest Pulse Asia survey which showed that majority of Filipinos did not agree that martial law was necessary to solve the country’s problems.

“There is no social and political base and/or support for martial law. It has no place in a democratic society. I am afraid that President Duterte is only courting the people’s ire with his threats of dictatorship,” the senator said.

“President Duterte must learn to trust democracy. Proper law enforcement, including standing behind the protection of human rights and observance of the rule of law are the best methods to protect the people from crime and illegal drugs,” Hontiveros added.

PANGILINAN

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan also warned that martial law imposition would just further divide the country.

“Hindi solusyon kundi dagdag na problema sa bayan ang pagdeklara ng martial law. Isinuka na ng mamamayan ang martial law at pinatalsik ang diktadura. Lalo lang magkakawatak watak ang bansa kung ipilit itong isubo muli sa sambayanan,” Pangilinan said.

“Ang hinahanap ng taumbayan ay solusyon sa pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin, dagdag na sweldo at hanapbuhay at trabaho hindi diktadura o martial law,” he further said.

In a speech on Saturday night, Duterte said, “I have to protect the Filipino people. It’s my duty.”

He added, “If I have to declare martial law, I will declare it. Not about invasion [or] insurrection. Not about danger … I will declare martial law to preserve my nation. Period.”

“Wala akong pakialam diyan sa Supreme Court because the right to preserve one’s life and my nation, my country transcends everything else, even the limitations,” the President told members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry. CBB/rga

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

LP MEMBERS ASKED TO MAKE A CHOICE: Solons want to draw clear line for majority Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 19 January 2017 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 2 comments

Senators in the so-called super majority coalition want to draw the line between allies of President Duterte and those openly obstructing the administration’s agenda, specifically members of the Liberal Party (LP) of former President Aquino.
Several Duterte allies in the Senate want an overhaul of the composition of the majority bloc with Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III confirming a “brewing sentiment” against some of their colleagues who are trying to go against most of the majority positions on issues facing the Senate.

All five of the LP senators, namely, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Leila de Lima, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan are members of the super majority bloc.“There’s a brewing concern by some members in the Senate that if you are in the majority, you should not stymie the actions of the majority. If you are critical, then you criticize, just oppose and be in the opposition. That is the brewing sense that I am hearing from my colleagues,” Sotto said.

“That’s the brewing sentiment (but) it’s not fully brewed yet,” he added.

Sotto corroborated what was earlier claimed by Senators Richard Gordon and JV Ejercito who had earlier issued pronouncements directed against the LP, urging them to decide whether to remain in the so-called super majority coalition or join the current three-man minority bloc.

Ejercito noticed how LP senators usually vote against the majority bloc in floor deliberations.

“They’re the majority but most of the time they vote against the majority,” Ejercito said.

“You cannot just go on like that, join in the benefits of being in the majority but at the same time attack the majority,” he added.

Gordon also called on the LP senators in the majority bloc to draw the line, whether they will stand to be cooperative or go against the position of the majority in the bloc.

It’s high time that LP senators re-think their being in the so-called “super majority” coalition in the upper chamber or consider joining forces with the minority bloc since they have been openly opposing most of the policies of the Duterte administration.

“The lines are blurred, the reason for the frequent bitter clashes among senators. We are the ones being blamed since the objectives we set are not being followed. The choice is either to stay in the majority or jump to the minority. I can’t understand them,” Gordon told reporters.

“If there is a position to be made, for example, taxes are forthcoming or the issue on death penalty. Even if you are in the minority or the majority, you can abstain from that because you don’t agree with it. Such will make it clear. The others, they complain because this group seems to be rowing the canoe with two streams,” he added.

JV backpedals

Ejercito, however, yesterday backtracked from his call after realizing that he had offended them with his remarks.
He has since apologized to Drilon as well as Pangilinan, who is currently the LP president.

“Senator JV texted me apologizing for his remarks. I don’t want to state that but since he was the one who told you then I will confirm it,” Drilon said.

Drilon and de Lima protested the statements of Gordon and Ejercito saying they cannot be told what to do even by co-members in the majority bloc.

Drilon insisted that there is no reason for them to bolt the majority bloc “unless the majority decides otherwise.”

“Is it against the democratic rule that we vote as a bloc? That is a practice in this legislative body and we are exercising our prerogatives as members of the body,” he said.

“We should sort it out among ourselves (LP) so we could issue a comment or make a decision,” De Lima said.

“And what is the basis for that? Because there are issues and there are matters where the position is against most of them? But this is not just...there is no conscious, collective voting. It just so happened that our personal positions would jibe with each other. Maybe we are bounded by the same sets of principles and opinions,” de Lima added.

Sotto, however, would not provide specific details on the emerging grouping, merely saying that he had heard such kind of sentiment from at least two to three of majority senators.

He also would not categorically state whether he shares the position of his colleagues but agrees that there should be a harmonious relationship among those in the majority bloc.

“We should provide a conducive environment in the plenary, in the sessions so that we can move forward and pass the necessary legislation that will help the country,” he said.

Sotto does not discount the possibility that the so-called “super coalition” will be dissolved eventually, if that happens, if LP senators bolt the majority bloc.

“There would probably be a new majority bloc,” he said, while dismissing the possibility of Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel being affected or ousted from his post saying that they have enough numbers to keep a majority bloc, even the capability to “raid” the ranks of the minority bloc, if needed.

Joint Trillanes, Gordon probe

A day after Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Juan Miguel Zubiri nearly traded blows, the former’s committee and Senator Gordon’s justice and human rights panel have been tasked to investigate jointly the alleged bribery in the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Upon motion of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, the Senate on Wednesday unanimously decided to refer it to the Senate committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation chaired by Trillanes and to Gordon’s committee the right to conduct inquiry into BI bribery scandal case.

Gordon, however, will not be barred from pursuing his pronounced plan to investigate motu propio, under the blue ribbon committee for the case.

He has, in fact, already scheduled the first hearing on Monday with Aguirre leading the guest list alongside dismissed BI associate commissioners Michael Robles and Al Argosino, retired police Senior Supt. Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero Jr. who acted as supposed middleman of Chinese gambling tycoon Jack Lam, the alleged bribe giver.

“I will motu propio investigate it to get it over with,” said Gordon.

The proposed probe on the said issue which stirred heated debates on the floor for two days among Trillanes, Gordon and Sen. Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri had prompted senators to vote on whether or not the resolution No. 256 introduced by Sen. Leila de Lima should be referred to the committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation. The said committee is under Trillanes.

They voted to have it referred to the rules committee of Sotto for disposition.

In the decision read on the floor yesterday, Sotto said the committee and its members have decided to allow Trillanes to handle the issue but will deal exclusively on the reorganization aspect of the BI which is within the competence of the panel jointly with Gordon’s committee on justice and human rights.

Gordon’s committee will handle the aspect of administration of BI which falls under its domain.

“As a consequence, the two primary committees shall come up with separate committee reports if they wish, each, dealing with separate concerns within the bounds of their jurisdiction as earlier mentioned,” Sotto said.

“Of course we cannot preclude the blue ribbon committee from conducting its own hearing on the contents mentioned in resolution No. 256 particularly the issue on corruption, it can be confined to that,” he said, adding that this kind of arrangement has been done before.

“Hopefully this will nurture a peaceful atmosphere in the Senate, considering that we need to pass a number of legislation before the adjournment in March and in order to do that, we need a conducive working environment by resolving this issue at the soonest possible time,” he further said.


PHILSTAR

Trillanes, Zubiri nearly trade blows at Senate session By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated January 17, 2017 - 5:03pm 5 2709 googleplus1 0


Sen. Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV engage in a heated argument during a session on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 17, 2017. Mark Pimentel for Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III was forced to suspend plenary session on Tuesday afternoon following a heated debate between Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Sen. Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri.

Trillanes and Zubiri nearly exchanged blows following a debate on which panel will investigate the bribery scandal case in the Bureau of Immigration.

Zubiri said he was offended by the statement of Trillanes that he and Sen. Richard Gordon wanted to whitewash the Senate probe on the matter. He stressed that the Blue Ribbon Committee has always been the panel that investigated such issues.

READ MORE...

"I am not privy to any whitewash. I will make a motion today as a member of the blue ribbon that Sen. Gordon immediately hear the bribery scandal case and I will actively attend," Zubiri told the Senate.

Trillanes admitted that his statement was meant to offend Zubiri as his committee blocked the referral to his own panel.

"I'm glad that the gentleman took offense because the statement was meant to be offensive," Trillanes said.

Trillanes then proceeded to call Zubiri a "cheater" and reminded him that he resigned from the Senate in 2007 due to an alleged cheating incident during the elections.

Defending himself, Zubiri said that he never cheated in the 2007 elections. He stressed that he was not involved in the incident and those who were responsible for the cheating were already in jail.

Zubiri then reminded their colleagues in the Senate that Trillanes was imprisoned for rebellion after the 2003 Oakwood mutiny involving 321 armed soldiers.

"The gentleman also is accused of rebellion and treason," Zubiri said.

Pimentel ordered a suspension of the session following the heated argument during the two senators. During the break, other senators were seen trying to break Trillanes and Zubiri away from each other. — Video report by Efigenio Toledo IV

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RELATED FROM THE TRIBUNE

Pacman breaks up Trillanes vs Zubiri set-to Written by Angie M. Rosales Wednesday, 18 January 2017 00:00



The Senate nearly had its first boxing match featuring Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Juan Miguel Zubiri had boxing icon Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao not prevented it.

Both legislators nearly came into blows in yesterday’s plenary session over the pro-posed probe on the bribery scandal in the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as a result of the breaking up of a gambling operations of Chinese businessman Jack Lam who employed illegal Chinese immigrants.

Zubiri reactd strongly at Trillanes’ charges that he is out to whitewash the investigation in the Senate.
The two exchanged charges that ended up in a challenge to a fistfight.

Tension, however, died down after cooler headsprevailed but not after the two traded barbs, with Trillanes calling Zubiri a “cheater” in the polls and the latter reminding the former coup plotter of being once accused of rebellion and treason.

The heated exchanges were apparently a continuation of Monday’s debate after Trillanes was stripped by colleagues of handling the investigation on the issue which after Sen. Richard Gordon insisted that his committee on justice and human rights should be the panel to handle the probe.

In a television interview, Trillanes practically accused both Gordon and Zubiri of supposedly trying to whitewash the proceedings that will have Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and two dismissed BI officials investigated in the Senate for alleged bribery by Lam.

“They wanted to be in control of the hearings so they can whitewash this, similar to the EJK (extrajudicial killings) hearings (in the Senate) in the previous month. This is what Senators Gordon and Zubiri wanted because they know they can’t stop me,” Trillanes said.

Zubiri refused to let Trillanes get away with his comments as he took to the floor to denounce the accusation of his colleague.

SENATOR TAUNTING ANOTHER SENATOR

Trillanes even taunted Zubiri for claiming that he had not been accused of any impropriety in the past by bringing the issue of his alleged cheating to win a Senate seat in 2007 that eventually prompted Zubiri to resign and not finish his six-year term.

“In physics as they say if there’s an action, there is a counter reaction and that’s what happened. They blocked the referral to my committee and therefore they should expect me to react on the matter. And I’m glad that the gentlemen took offense because the statement was meant to be offensive. So at least he feels something,” Trillanes said.

An arnis dare

“People know me. I’m one of the most amiable senators in this chamber. But if you pick a fight with me, I’ll fight. I did not become world champion in arnis for nothing,” Zubiri countered.

“If you want to fight, tell me how you want to fight. Say it in front of my face, don’t say it in the media. Come out here, say it! But to accuse me of whitewashing, that’s not correct,” Zubiri said.

“Never in my nine years as House member and four years as member of this august chamber have I have been accused of whitewashing, stalling, stopping any sort of investigation. Mine was merely raising the rules. How dare people say that we are the defenders of the faith,” he lamented.

Zubiri added that Trillanes himself cannot claim to having an untarnished record as he was once accused and detained for rebellion and treason charges and only managed to get out of jail after receiving a pardon from former President Aquino.

“I am not putting aspersions on what their plan is. I don’t care. If they want to investigate, investigate. If they want to raise hell in their committee, I don’t care. Mine was just to discuss rules and that is why I questioned that. What I do care about is the accusation that we are whitewashing the planned investigation on BI. Now I take offense on that and I do not know what should be done, would it be taken by the ethics committee or the gentleman involved apologize to this representation,” Zubiri added.

But rather than apologize, Trillanes stood his ground while acknowledging the fact that he was indeed accused of rebellion in the past.

Proud rebel

“And I’m proud of it. I believe it’s one of the shining moments in my life. So it’s a badge of honor. Thank you,” he said.

Tension, however, died down following a recess called by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel and intervention of cooler heads.

They agreed to strike off the record their exchange of “unparliamentary language” and proceed with the investigation.

A resolution earlier filed by Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon referred the inquiry to be moved to the Senate Committee on Civil Service Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation chaired by Trillanes.

 
https://youtu.be/mC-6f7wD4gk?t=118

ZUBIRI vs TRILLANES clash over 'Whitewash' on BI bribery scandal | Senate Session: Cheater vs Rebel DUTERTE LATEST VIDEOS Published on Jan 17, 2017

Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Antonio Trillanes IV got into a heated word war over the Bureau of Immigration bribery probe at the Senate Hall on Tuesday, January 17.

It all started when Trillanes accused Zubiri and Senator Richard Gordon of “whitewashing” the BI scam probe in a televised interview. This was after the Senate, voting 14-7, stripped Trillanes of the power to probe BI corruption issues, including proposals to reorganize it.

“Mabait akong tao and people know me. I'm one of the amiable senators of this chamber but if you pick a fight, I didn’t become world champion arnis for nothing. Come out here; don’t say it in the media," Zubiri challenged Trillanes.

To avoid further conflicts, their colleagues eventually brought the two to the Senate lounge.

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