Duterte threatens to enforce emergency powers ‘to the hilt’

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte threatened on Wednesday to resort to emergency powers and enforce them “to the hilt” to deal with criticism of his human rights record, crimes and government wrongdoing. Duterte, who placed the southern third of the archipelago nation last year under martial law to battle Muslim militants, said “there’s no difference actually between martial law and a declaration of national emergency,” AP reports. “Even with this meager emergency power, I will use it to the hilt [to] put things in order,” the president said in a late-night news conference upon his return from a South Korean trip. He has threatened before to resort to nationwide authoritarian rule if lawlessness worsens out of control. It was not clear what triggered the volatile leader’s latest outburst.