Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared an indefinite “state of national emergency on account of lawless violence” following a deadly blast in his home city of Davao last week that left 14 dead and dozens injured.
The one-page proclamation does not require congressional approval and will remain in effect “until lifted or withdrawn by the President,” according to a senior official cited by local news site Rappler.
Duterte had initially declared a “state of lawlessness” after the Sept. 2 attack — which has been claimed by Abu Sayyaf extremists — but he said the declaration did not amount to martial law.
Monday’s proclamation, however, grants sweeping powers to the police and armed forces, and is not subject to a 60-day limitation as with martial law.
Duterte signed off on the decree just before boarding a plane to Laos, where he is attending a regional summit. The foul-mouthed new leader caused controversy even before his arrival. U.S. President Barack Obama called off a scheduled meeting with Duterte after he referred to Obama as a “son of a b-tch” and warned him to steer clear of questions about a spate of extrajudicial killings.
More than 2,400 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed since Duterte took office in late June, as the former Davao City mayor — known as “the Punisher” — began a gruesome nationwide war on drugs.
More Must-Read Stories From TIME
- How an Online Pharmacy Sold Millions Worth Of Dubious COVID-19 Drugs — While Patients Paid the Price
- Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs
- Meet the Women Participating in the Study That Could Change Future of Breast Cancer
- Inside the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of Tomorrow's Business Leaders
- An Innovative Washington Law Aims to Get Foreign-Trained Doctors Back in Hospitals
- Why the Ex-Husband of a Missing Chinese Billionaire Is Risking All to Tell Their Story
- Timothée Chalamet Wants You to Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve