President Rodrigo Duterte early Saturday declared â€œa state of lawlessnessâ€ or â€œa state of lawless violenceâ€ to counter terrorism and strengthen the campaign against illegal-drug trade.
Speaking in a televised interview, he clarified â€œitâ€™s not martial law but it would require nationwide, well-coordinated efforts of the military and the police.â€
â€œI have this duty to protect the country. I have this duty to keep intact the integrity of the nation,â€ he added.
â€œThere will be major checkpoints,â€ he said.
Around 4 a.m. Saturday, Duterte visited the site of the explosion at the Davao City night market that had left 14 dead and 67 wounded, based on the latest police reports.
â€œThis is not the first time Davao has been sacrificed in the altar of violence,â€ he added, citing there have been terrorist acts in the past.
He considered the incident a police matter, â€œnot a war.â€
He said such thing happened because Davao â€œis not under a fascist state. â€œ
â€œEverybody can come in and out of Davao,â€ he said. â€œDavao is safe, there is no criminality here except terrorism.â€
He ordered the police and the military to conduct searches and set up checkpoints in the city.
Asked for his message his Davao residents, he said â€œkeep calm.â€
â€œThe government is with you. We will protect everyone,â€ he said.Â With a report from Anthony Esguerra/INQUIRER.net