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Philippine President Declares a State of Emergency Before Heading to Laos

September 6, 2016

LAOS-ASEAN-SUMMITLAOS-ASEAN-SUMMIT
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the convention centre to attend the 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vientiane on Sept. 6, 2016. ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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The one-page proclamation does not require congressional approval and will remain in effect “until lifted or withdrawn by the President,” according to a senior official cited by local news site Rappler.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 that the declaration did not amount to martial law.

See also: The Philippines Will Suspend More Mines Over Environmental Violations

Monday’s proclamation, however, grants sweeping powers to the police and the 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–ch” and warned him to steer clear of questions about a spate of extrajudicial killings.

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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.