MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte can declare martial law in Negros Oriental amid the spate of killings in the province, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said on Thursday.
“He has many options under the Constitution. He can call the Armed Forces to quell lawless violence; he can declare martial law,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.
The Philippine National Police earlier sent 300 elite forces to stop the series of killings but Panelo said it appears that the augmentation is not enough.
“From the judgment of the President, it appears to be so,” Panelo said.
He said Duterte will “certainly” follow the advice if the military on the ground will recommend the declaration of martial law.
Panelo said if there is a need to declare martial law in Negros Oriental, it is not an expansion of the one declared in Mindanao following the 2016 Marawi siege. (PNA)