Philippine president says he has no plan to impose nationwide martial law

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MANILA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday that he has no plan to place the entire country under martial rule to effect "radical changes."

"It will only divide the nation."

"What really made it so unpopular (then) were the abuses committed, unbridled, unfettered. I will simply not allow it," Duterte said, adding that he will not allow oppression under his term.

The issue of martial law came up anew after Duterte warned on Tuesday that he would make radical changes in the days to come.

The president said the Philippines had already experienced martial law under the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.

"Martial law is not feasible. It won't work."

"I'm testing the waters beyond its normal limits. I do it purposely just to test the waters."

Duterte also said it is not feasible and will divide the nation.

However, the president said later that he purposely made the statement to test the waters.

Speaking to reporters in Cebu in central Philippines where he graced the inauguration of a new airport terminal, the president said the country is still under a state of national emergency, which he declared in September 2016.

However, the president assured the people that he will "allow free speech to the fullest."