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Duterte threatens martial law declaration over NPA ‘lawlessness’


President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to declare martial law to eradicate the outlawed New People’s Army (NPA).

Duterte, in a taped address aired Friday morning, made the comments in the aftermath of claims from the military that communist rebels blocked the aid intended for Samar amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“‘Pag nagpatuloy kayo ng lawlessness ninyo, patay dito, patay doon….and it is  happening all over the Philippines, maybe I will declare martial law. Ikaw na NPA, numero uno, hinaharang ang tulong sa tao, pati supply ng pagkain nila. Kaya I’m now warning everybody and putting notice sa AFP pati pulis. I might declare martial law and there will be no turning back kung ano ang martial law na klase na gagawin ko,” Duterte said.

“Kung ano ang martial law na gagawin ko, akin lang iyan. Pinagpapapatay niyo ang sundalo at pulis na walang ginawa kundi samahan ang nagdedeliver ng pera. Pagka inutos ko sa kanila, lahat na, tapusin na natin ito sa panahon ko. Two more years. Magtago na kayo, p*t*ng*n*ng legal front,” Duterte added.

Under the 1987 Constitution, a president can only declare martial law in case of invasion, rebellion or when public safety requires it. 

Revolutionary tax

The President also chastised the NPA for acting like the government by supposedly collecting revolutionary tax.

“Sa inyo, kumukuha kayo ng pera. Ang mga negosyo dito sa Pilipinas, nagdedeposito ng pera yan sa bangko sa accounts ninyo. Kinukuha ninyo yan. ‘Yan ang totoo  diyan, kaya nabubuhay ang NPA, pati pa ang extortion ninyo doon sa baba. Marami kayong pera,” Duterte said.

“There’s [only] one entity  who can collect taxes, and it is the government. And that [collected tax] must [be] put to good use,” he added.

Duterte said that unlike the NPA, the government does not kill tax evaders but the NPA’s continued violence can change his mind.

“Kung hindi naman kayo nagbabayad, wala naman kaming pinapatay. Ikaw, kung wala ka talagang ibabayad, anong gagawin natin? Wala naman kayong nabalitaan na nakulong, but do not force my hand into it,”  Duterte said. — RSJ, GMA News