Malacañang on Monday clarified said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat to declare a revolutionary war was said merely out of frustration.
In a statement Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the comment was addressed to the enemies of the state, and was not meant to threaten the Filipino people.
“If the statement came across as a threat, it was not made on a whim but brought about by a series of acts committed against the people,” Panelo said, citing national issues including the government’s war on drugs, corruption, and rebellion.
“The threat, if it is a threat, is not against the people but precisely against their enemies, the criminals, the people manning the illegal drug industry, the corrupt bureaucrats, the greedy politicians, the communist rebels, foreign and local terrorists, and other enemies of the state,” he added.
The chief executive, in a speech Thursday night, also threatened to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus and have his critics arrested– a statement slammed by the opposition and his detractors.
But Duterte’s outburst was not in connection with acts committed by criminals or enemies of the state against the people, as Panelo said.
The President was reacting to Senator Franklin Drilon’s comment on Duterte’s order for a review all government contracts. Drilon had said the administration should respect the sanctity of government contracts.
“P****** how dare you say that to me Mr. Drilon. Sa inyo ‘yan eh [It’s in your court],” he said. “Ayusin ninyo ‘yan [Fix it]. I will not honor ‘yung bullshit ninyo. Eh ano kung magkagulo tayo? [So what if we go to war?],” Duterte said in his speech.
The Constitution states under the Bill of Rights that “the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended except in cases of invasion or rebellion when the public safety requires it.”
The writ is a safeguard against unlawful detention. It is issued by a court or judge to compel those holding a prisoner to produce the detainee in court and prove that that person’s incarceration is lawful.
Panelo said the Constitution is a “dynamic instrument” and that it is Duterte’s duty to “quell the attacks on the people and to save the state.”