TOUGH-talking President Duterte has not shown any sign of wanting to remain in office after his six-year presidency, which started on June 30, 2016, ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2022.
His army of critics, like politicians and left-leaning activists, continues to accuse Mr. Duterte of still entertaining the idea of declaring martial law just to prolong his stay in Malacañang.
“I will not declare martial law but just like what I’m doing, I will go for the strongest tools, political tools in my hand,” said President Duterte, to ensure law and order in the country.
Communist leader Prof. Jose Ma. Sison had earlier claimed that Duterte will declare a nationwide martial law to make sure that the outcome of the 2019 mid-term polls will be in his favor.
The exiled communist leader alleged that nationwide martial law could be declared as early as January 2019, a few months before the nation goes to the polls to elect new government officials.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Professor Sison “has been foisting that martial law bogey for more than a year now” as part of his “psywar campaign” against the government.
A lawyer, Panelo reiterated President Duterte’s “repeated” and “consistent” pronouncement that he will step down when his six-year presidency ends at 12 noon on June 30, 2022.
In fact, Duterte’s growing army of supporters and fans does not see him extending his presidency, adding that he is even willing to cut short his term in the event that a new federal constitution is ratified.
Everybody knows that the Chief Executive from Davao City wants a shift to the federal system of government which, he said, is touted to address the decades-old armed conflict in Mindanao.
Thus, the administration ought to convince critics not to doubt President Duterte’s word that he has absolutely no plan to stay in Malacanang after June 30, 2022.