Filipinos are looking for solutions to the drug problem and other security issues other than martial law, Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said on Monday.
He cited the Pulse Asia survey taken from December 6 to 11 last year, which found that 74 percent of the nationally represented respondents rejected the return of martial rule.
On Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte said nothing can stop him from declaring martial law to wipe out illegal drugs and other security threats such as terrorism.
"When Filipinos flat-out reject martial law, they're saying 'you owe it to us to come up with better solutions,'" Aquino said on ANC's "Headstart" on Monday.
The period of Martial Law dismissed political rights and led to human rights abuses during the regime of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
Aquino, a namesake and nephew of martyred Sen. Ninoy Aquino who was an outspoken critic of Marcos, said public opinion should signal the government to look for other ways besides iron rule to solve problems.
"And I think, kaming mga nasa gobyerno, we owe it to the people to provide these better solutions," Aquino said.
While he disagrees with the imposition of martial law, Aquino said Duterte "vacillates on the topic" which makes him difficult to gauge.
"Pabago-bago 'yung salita niya, and it's very hard to react to it anymore," Aquino said.
Duterte has toyed with the idea of martial law several times in his speeches, but has also said it is a "stupid idea." His statement on Saturday, however, cast doubt on his intentions.
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