|Duterte disregards the constitution according to Sen Kiko Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes. Original photo credits to owner
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Monday urged Cabinet officials and members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to “speak truth” to President Rodrigo Duterte after saying that he will ignore Congress and the Supreme Court (SC) as he enforces martial law in Mindanao.
In a statement, Pangilinan also reminded Duterte of his duty to uphold and defend the Constitution.
“We urge all our Cabinet members and the Armed Forces to be true to their own respective oaths of office. Do not allow yourselves to be used as instruments in acts of reckless disregard of our constitutional democracy,” Pangilinan said.
“No one is above the law, not even the President. We oppose any violation of the Constitution on matters pertaining to the martial law declaration. To allow the President to disregard the Constitution is to open the gates to dictatorship,” he added.
On Sunday, Duterte vowed to defy Congress and SC amid the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, following the attacks of ISIS-inspired Maute Group.
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV also urged the public to “wake up,” saying Duterte’s recent statement shows his disregard for the rule of law.
WHO ARE YOU TO TELL THOSE THINGS SA ATING PANGULO? MAY MALASAKIT KASI SIYA SA SINASAKUPAN NIYA EH KAYO ANONG GINAGAWA NIYO SA SENADO MANGURAKOT?
“Since day one when Duterte ordered the killing of our people in his fake war on drugs, it was quite clear that he had no respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions,” Trillanes said.
“People should start waking up because he will keep on pushing the boundaries of his power for as long as no one is pushing back,” he added.
Senator Grace Poe, for her part, said Duterte should realize the impact of his statements.
“I know the President still has to realize that whatever he utters, whether in a small, intimate gathering or a huge gathering, will have an impact on the country,” Poe said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson came to the defense of Duterte, saying the President’s statement was just “rhetoric.”
“The better question to ask is if he meant, half-meant or didn’t mean at all what he said. Filipinos should get used to his rhetoric by now,” Lacson said.
The senator pointed out that Duterte’s compliance with the 48-hour deadline to submit a report to Congress on his martial law declaration shows his respect for the Constitution and the authorities.
“He is a lawyer and he knows that he can’t ignore the SC and the Congress in this regard,” Lacson added.
Source: GMA News