MANILA, Philippines – Senate minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Thursday expressed ‘some doubts’ whether presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte would be able to fulfill his promise to eradicate criminality in the country within 3 to 6 months.
”I don’t know whether he can do it. I entertain some doubts,” Enrile told the media during the weekly Kapihan sa Senado forum.
”I’m talking of capability to do something. I don’t know his formula. That’s why I’m saying I have my doubt and I beg him as a friend to pardon me for expressing my doubt but I hope he can do it,” the 92-year-old lawmaker added.
He said eliminating criminality within six months would be a tall order for the next president.
”Maybe in the case of specific crimes, like the drug, but even the drug business, you cannot promise it unless you shoot several of them publicly and you assume the responsibility,” Enrile said.
Enrile said Duterte’s promise would be doable only if the latter will mobilize the entire military organization, including the police and the National Bureau of Investigation and “declare Martial Law.”
”Then I believe him. If he’s going to declare Martial Law, my God, he is only human being,” Enrile said.
”But the trouble is that even if he’s the President now and he will declare Martial law, Congress can disapprove it. Unlike in the 1935 Constitution, once the President declares Martial law, that’s it,” he added.
Enrile served as the prime minister of former President Ferdinand Marcos who declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972 to suppress increasing civil strife and the threat of a communist takeover following a series of bombings in Manila. Martial law lasted nine years. Jelly Musico/PNA/northboundasia.com