Duterte: Declaring martial law from Russia leaves 'dent' in my record
Last Wednesday, May 23, the Philippines not only commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Marawi crisis but also the anniversary of President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Duterte, the day before, had a chance to reflect on this during a speech to Philippine Navy officials.
The President said declaring martial law from outside the country was a "painful" experience that will leave a mark on his legacy as president.
"That is a painful realization, to be signing something about your country, about the safety of your country, about the safety of the people and to give the orders outside of the Republic of the Philippines," he said in front of soldiers.
"I would say that it leaves a dent in my own history, when I go out of government service," he added.
Duterte had just arrived in Moscow, Russia for a much-awaited official visit when the Marawi siege began.
Within hours of arriving, Duterte decided to declare martial law in Mindanao, a decision announced during a press conference with Philippine media.
Barely 24 hours in Russia, Duterte and high-ranking officials departed for home to call an emergency command conference on the unfolding Marawi crisis.
There have been mixed reactions to the martial law declaration, with some praising Duterte's swift action and others saying it was unnecessary and could set the stage for abuse of powers.
A year later, portions of Marawi remain devastated even as government is working on its reconstruction. Martial law remains in place after Duterte got Congress and even Supreme Court approval for its declaration and its repeated extension.
After two extensions, martial law in Mindanao will last until the end of 2018. – Rappler.com
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