Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Saturday a “state of lawlessness ” in the country after an explosion in a marketplace killed 14 people in his home city of Davao while he was on a routine weekend visit there.
Duterte, who ran Davao for greater than two decades as its crime-busting mayor, said the explosion late on Friday outside a high end hotel intensified what was an “amazing time” in the Philippines, and police and military would redouble efforts to crush crime, drugs and insurgency.
“I must declare a state of lawless violence in this nation, it’s not martial law,” Duterte told reporters on a Davao street at daybreak.
“It’s not until it’s a threat against the people martial law, and against the nation … I have this duty to protect this country.”
They failed to reveal any findings from their first investigation.
Duterte was not near the scene of the blast when it occurred.
It comes with just about anyone from street dealers and drugs kingpins to Islamist rebels and corrupt bureaucrats, scoring big points in opinion polls as the president wages war that is uncompromising, but at a risk of making powerful enemies.
It wasn’t immediately clear what a “state of lawlessness” entailed.