Palace rules out martial law in Negros for now


President Rodrigo Duterte will not declare martial law in Negros Island for now since there is no rebellion or invasion in the area, his spokesman said Tuesday.

While it is true that there is rampant violence in Negros, the situation in the area does not meet the requirements for declaring military rule.

“I asked him last night about Negros and he (Duterte) said, ‘You and I are lawyers. We know we cannot just impose martial law unless the requirements are there,’” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters, recalling a Monday night conversation with Duterte.

President Duterte earlier threatened to impose martial law in Negros after the brutal murder of 4 policemen.

A spate of killings followed thereafter.

Police blamed the killings on the New People’s Army (NPA), but the communist rebels denied this.

“Martial law will only be enforced in accordance with the constitution,” Panelo said.

“In the Constitution, there has to be a rebellion. For now, it’s unbridled killing that is still happening there,” he said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines has not recommended putting Negros Island under military rule so far. (Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News)