President Duterte’s latest threat to declare martial law in Mindanao has sparked further concerns in the European Union, this amid strong signals that his war on drugs and other anticrime measures that his administration is doggedly pushing for, like the death penalty, could have an adverse effect on EU-Philippine trade relations.

Last March 9 in Davao City, speaking to about 300 local officials from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and central and northern Mindanao, Mr. Duterte raised the specter of martial law again, directing them to work with the police and help him fight terrorism and other forms of violence so that he would not have to resort to extraordinary measures to bring law and order in Mindanao.