The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo responded to the statement of Malacañang that she was merely “amplifying” concerns about President Duterte’s threat to declare martial law.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella on Tuesday defended Duterte’s message in his Dec. 22 speech that he wanted to have the 1987 Constitution amended to allow for the declaration of martial law be the sole prerogative of the President, sans the approval of Congress and the Supreme Court.

“(T)he Vice President Leni seems to have amplified her concerns and seems to make it appear as if President was actively planning to do it. But if you read it in context, it was not in that way,” Abella said.

But Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez clarified that the Vice President did not intend to make it appear that President Duterte was going to place the country under military rule.

“President Duterte did that himself. Every time President Duterte has been called out on his comments, it is either dismissed as a joke or said to be taken out of context,” Hernandez said.
She said Duterte’s threat of declaring martial law can “never be a laughing matter” nor “can (it) be exaggerated.”

“The threat of martial law and the desire for a one-man rule can never be a laughing matter. Nor can the threat be exaggerated,” she added.

The spokesperson also reiterated Robredo’s earlier vow to defend the freedom and rights of the Filipino people.

“VP Leni’s statement was clear in one thing: no matter what is thrown at us, we will stand fast in defending our freedom and our rights as Filipinos,” Hernandez said.

“We will never allow Martial Law to happen again. The sooner this message sinks in, the better for all.” CDG/rga


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