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AFP says Duterte ain’t serious about ‘copycat’ martial law threat: Sinabi nga niyang na-coma siya eh!

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President Rodrigo Duterte just spoke in jest when he warned that his second declaration of martial law will be a “copycat” of the authoritarian rule imposed by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

At a press briefing in Malacañang Monday (June 19), AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla noted that Duterte made the controversial remark at the same event where he joked that he was not in a coma last week as some rumormongers claimed, but was only in his “kama” (bed).

“By that nature alone, alam mo ‘yung banter was light. So he could not have meant that abuses and all about martial law,” he said.

“He (Duterte) may have been very serious about tackling and dealing with the problems at hand and one of the solutions could be martial law but not in the extent of the abuses,” Padilla explained.

During a press briefing in Butuan City on June 17, Duterte said that he was willing to withdraw his martial law declaration in southern Philippines if the high tribunal orders so.

“If anything goes wrong, magdeclare ako ng martial law ulit, the second time around, if the people suffer, bombings ganon, ‘di na ko makinig maski kanino,” he said.

“If that rebellion burns Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines, and I’ll be forced to declare martial law again, this time I will do it on my own to preserve my nation. I will not consult anybody and there’s no telling when will it end. It could be a copycat of Marcos,” Duterte added.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s remark did not include any reference to the abuse of human rights.

He said no less than the Commission on Human Rights has concluded that there are no instances of human rights abuse while Mindanao is under martial law.