President Rodrigo Duterte early Saturday declared “a state of lawlessness” or “a state of lawless violence” to counter terrorism and strengthen the campaign against illegal-drug trade.
Speaking in a televised interview, he clarified “it’s not martial law but it would require nationwide, well-coordinated efforts of the military and the police.”
“There will be major checkpoints, curfew,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as saying. “This is not the first time Davao has been sacrificed under the altar of violence.”
Duterte made the declaration after visiting the site of the blast.
“I have this duty to protect the country, keep intact the integrity of the nation,” he said.
He ordered the police and the military to conduct searches and set up checkpoints in the city.
At the same time, the president stressed his declaration was not tantamount to martial law as there would be no random searches or restriction of movement in Davao City.
“Everybody can come in and out of Davao”, he said. “Davao is safe, there is no criminality here except terrorism.”
Duterte also assured the public that their government was there to help them out.
“Government is here with you, as much as humanly possible. We will protect everybody,” he said.
Under Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, the president “may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless invasion, or rebellion” without the need for martial law.