Cotabato City — Following the new directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the Philippine National Police to go after “tambays” on the streets, the Palace assured the public that this will no way be a prelude to the declaration of nationwide martial law.
In a press briefing held June 19 in Cotabato City State Polytechnic College, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Jr. addressed the concern that the new directive will result in the declaration of martial law nationwide.
“[M]alinaw po ang sinabi ng Presidente martial law in the entire Philippines will become very complicated,” Roque said.
“The President has absolutely no intentions right now unless there would be reasons to do so. Wala naman siyang nakikitang rason ngayon,” he added.
As to the new directive, Secretary Roque explained that both Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are already working on the guidelines for the implementation of such directive.
“Antayin po natin ang guidelines ng DILG at ng PNP,” Roque assured.
“Pero sa ngayon po ang mga ina-acost naman diyan ay ‘yung mga lumalabag sa mga ordinansa at ‘yung alam ng mga police na posibleng mayroong nilalabag na batas katulad ng mga umiinom at nagsusugal sa kalye,” he added.
The public need not to worry, the Palace official said, since there are “built-in” guarantees to this directive. For one, the Bill of Rights assures its citizens of fair and just trial.
“Pero mayroon pong mga built-in guarantees naman po ‘yan. Nariyan po ang Bill of Rights so kinakailangan kapag nag-aresto sampahan sila ng kaso at kung hindi sila sasampahan within the prescribed number of hours, dapat nang palayain,” Roque said.
The President’s spokesperson, meanwhile, said that Norway can still have a role in the on-going peace talks between the Philippine government and the Communist Party.
“Ang sabi ko po kahapon all third parties who have been involved in the peace talks in the past and who would want to be continue to be involved may do so,” Roque said emphasizing that third party does not need to be abroad to facilitate the talks.
‘Supreme Court denies Sereno’s motion for reconsideration’
The Presidential Spokesperson also acknowledged the Supreme Court’s decision to deny the motion for reconsideration of former Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno following her removal from the office via quo warranto.
Secretary Roque said the President respects the decision of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter.
“So, like it or hate it, we have to succumb to the decision of the Supreme Court. That is now a final and executory decision. Tapos na po ang pagiging Chief Justice ni Sereno,” Roque said.
With regards to the replacement of former Chief Justice Sereno, Secretary Roque said it will still depend on the list that will be provided by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC). ###PCO-Content