A state of lawless violence or lawlessness is not martial law.
It is not a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public as he addressed the media in the aftermath of the deadly blast in a bustling night market in Davao City that killed at least 14 people and wounded 71 others on Friday night.
In an instance of the suspension of habeas corpus, court intervention is no longer needed when the military makes arrests.
This was among the chief characteristics of the martial law implemented by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.
In part, Duterteâ€™s declaration is a way to permit the Armed Forces of the Philippines to augment the forces of the Philippine National Police in quelling lawlessness and violence.
â€œI am inviting now the military and the police to run the country in accordance with my specifications,â€ Duterte said.
According to Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Duterte’s declaration is rooted in Article VII Section 18 of the Constitution.
It stipulates that â€œthe President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.â€
Other than the apparent terrorist attack, Duterte also used the spate of killings, the simmering tensions between the state and the Abu Sayaff, and the rampant illegal drug activities as grounds for the declaration.
â€œI am including drugs because of the so many killings unfairly attributed to the police, noting that these are handiworks of the police,â€ Duterte said. â€œWe do not do that.â€
While the bombing only devastated Davao, Duterte declared the state of lawlessness in the entire country amid threats of further attacks.
This will be implemented â€œwhile there is still a threat against the people and against the nation,â€ Duterte said.