PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte said that he declared martial law to avoid the risk of impeachment.

In his speech during his visit at Camp Ranao, Marawi City last Thursday, Mr. Duterte said that ”critical conditions” in the area as cited by the military led to his declaration of Proclamation 216, which placed the Mindanao region under martial law.

“Even if you’ll say that it was I who declared Martial Law and I am the one who ordered all of you to go here, please understand my duty as a President,” he said. “Otherwise, I would be the candidate for impeachment also. It is heavier, I can be sacked from post and it it’s humiliating.”

Mr. Duterte, however, emphasized that he “grieves for the civilians,” and “especially to the soldiers who I ordered to go here to fight and die.”

However, Mr. Duterte failed to explain how a decision to withhold proclaiming martial law would be regarded as an impeachable offense.

According to the Constitution, the president can only be impeached based on the following grounds: culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. — Jil Danielle M. Caro