By Francis T. Wakefield
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that President Duterte’s threat of declaring martial law in the country could become a reality only if there is massive disruption in government functions.
Speaking to media at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, Lorenzana said: “Sa pag-uusap namin na kung magkagulo na (During our talk that if there is anarchy) if there (is) massive disruption of civilian lives and functions of government, then he might, he might (do it). That’s what he said.”
“I was just repeating what the President said,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lorenzana shot down claims by the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) that the impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Serreno and the implementation of the National ID system would be a prelude to the declaration of martial law.
“Wala namang connection doon eh… kasi the ID system is matagal nang pinagusapan yan eh, noon pa (There’s no connection… the ID system has long been talked about). I think it had been the subject matter since many Congresses ago,” Lorenzana said.
As for the impeachment of Sereno, he said: “I think that is different.”
The DND Secretary said that the claim by the CPP-NPA that President Duterte is planning to take over the judiciary is farfetched.
“Medyo stretched na ang imagination nila dyan eh, kasi tulad ng time ni President Aquino, natanggal naman iyung chief justice (Renato Corona) hindi naman nag-takeover. Hindi naman na take-over yung justice system, eh (Their imagination is already stretched. During the time of President Aquino the chief justice was also removed but they did not take over),” he said.
Likewise, Lorenzana said that based on his assessment, anti-Duterte rallyists or critics of the government do not have the capability to wage nationwide rallies.
“Like I said, it’s very remote that there will be chaos or anarchy in the streets because I don’t think they can get that many people to stage massive rallies day-in day-out like during the time of President Marcos,” Lorenzana said.
“Look at the environment, do you see any massive disgruntlement of the people? Wala naman tayong nakikita, eh (we don’t see anything). In fact the approval rating of the President is above 90 percent so I don’t think they will succeed,” he said.