Nat’l emergency, yes; martial law, no – Duterte

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 November) – City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has rejected calls for the President to declare martial law in areas hardest hit by super typhoon “Yolanda” where looting of goods has been reported.

Speaking to reporters before leaving for Leyte via Cebu on Monday, Duterte suggested instead a declaration of a national emergency to allow the government to control the movement of people as well as prevent a rise in the prices of basic goods.

“We are not dealing with fighting forces, we are dealing with human misery,” he said.

The mayor’s trip to Leyte would include Maasin, Southern Leyte. “It is the land of my birth,” he said.

Duterte left for Tacloban City yesterday after sending off a contingent of rescue workers for the city and other areas battered by Yolanda on Friday.

He ordered the military escorts of the rescue mission to Tacloban to shoot in the foot those who would try to grab the relief goods that the city is sending to the typhoon victims.

“But only in the foot,” Duterte told Maj. Anthony Fer Solamo of the Task Force Davao.

The mayor explained the order was prompted by reports of looting in Yolanda-hit areas by victims who are desperate for food and other basic items.

He called the relief and rescue efforts, particularly the deployment of doctors and delivery of medicines a “race against time.”

“We are flying to Cebu where there are three choppers waiting to take us to Tacloban city,” said Duterte as he was waiting for his flight at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

He said he was scheduled to meet with Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez before proceeding to Maasin and other areas affected by typhoon. (MindaNews)