President Rodrigo Duterte. (Paulo C. Rizal/ file photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte. (Paulo C. Rizal/ file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — It is a bad joke because it feeds impunity.

This was how a women’s partylist group described the new remark of President Rodrigo Duterte as he threatened again to impose Martial Law across the country if necessary in order to continue his bloody campaign against the use of illegal drugs.

“It is a bad omen, if not a bad joke, threatening a declaration of Martial Law. A declaration of Martial Law will exacerbate the lawlessness, violation of rights and killings that are already hounding the Duterte administration,” Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi De Jesus said in a statement on Monday.

De Jesus said the president’s remark “creates an atmosphere of impunity and bodes further abuse and brutality from police and military authorities.”

She pointed out that Gabriela is set to oppose any move to revive Martial Law, including proposals in Congress that are proving to be authoritarian and repressive vestiges of Marcosian rule.

These include the re-imposition of the death penalty, the lowering of the minimum age of criminal responsibility and mandatory Reserve Officers Training Course, the Gabriela solon added.

On Saturday night, speaking before the members of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce, Duterte, in a speech, said that if he declared Martial Law, it is for the protection of the Filipino people.

“I have to protect the Filipino people. It is my duty. And I tell you now, if I have to declare martial law, I will declare it not because of invasion, insurrection, I will declare martial law to preserve my nation, period,” he said.

The Mindanawon president pointed out that he would even attempt to transcend the constitutional limits on declaring Martial Law.

“I don’t care about the Supreme Court. No one can stop me,” Duterte said. “The right to preserve one’s life and my nation … transcends everything else, even the limitations.”(

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