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Duterte’s martial law 2.0 to be same in scope as Marcos’ but without abuses- AFP

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Human rights abuses will not happen even if President Rodrigo Duterte makes another declaration of martial law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said.

Over the weekend, Duterte said the second martial law he will declare will be indefinite and similar to the authoritarian rule imposed by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Sought for comment on Duterte’s remark, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. on Monday (June 19) said the President may have referred to the scope of Marcos’ martial law, which covered the entire country, from September 1972 to January 1981.

“Well, definitely the President will not be referring to abuses. He may refer to the breadth and the depth of how to impose it but I guess it’s not because of the abuses,” he said at a press briefing in Malacañang.

Padilla said the military is making sure human rights are upheld even if Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao since May 23.

“You can see how the military is implementing martial law now, its complete regard for human rights and IHL [International humanitarian law] and the other protocols that have been established. So if there are any complaints, we are open to receiving those complaints and acting on it immediately,” he said.\

Facing reporters in Butuan City on June 17, Duterte said he was ready to withdraw his declaration of martial law should it be ordered by the Supreme Court.

He, however, said he was prepared to declare martial law again, and he would no longer consult anyone if he does.

During a press briefing in Butuan City, 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.

For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella affirmed Padilla’s statement.

“I think we should take that in context and I agree with what the General said that the President is talking about the length and breadth and the depth of the efforts to be placed through martial law, especially because his first and last consideration regarding ML is public safety,” he said.