Duterte threatens to declare Martial law in Mindanao

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte warned Thursday that he may be forced to declare Martial law in Mindanao if peace and order worsens in the region.

Speaking before the local officials in Mindanao, Duterte appealed to the people to aim at serving just and long-lasting peace in the region, or else, he might declare Martial law if hostile activities continue to flourish there.

"I will be compelled now [to have] extraordinary powers, not to perpetuate myself. Believe me, I am not happy continuing with this job. But since I have to – it’s not a question of emotions; it’s a question of duty," the President said in a speech delivered in Davao City.

"I now face the enormity of the problem, face this violence almost unstoppable. I have no choices but let’s talk. Either you help me or I will declare Martial law tomorrow for Mindanao,” he added.

Duterte returned to the southern city a day after four policemen were killed in an ambush staged by alleged New People's Army rebels in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

As the country’s president, Duterte said he has the mandate to "serve and protect the Filipino people and the Philippine territory" from violence.

He said that to date "many violence" continue to hound Mindanao.

"If we allow violence, I really do not know... To avoid that, I will do something and it will be drastic and painful for everybody. I plead to you, I ask you to help me. Tell the terrorists to leave, find your place where you can be comfortable because I am uncomfortable," Duterte said.

“Somebody has to act on the problem. We have to protect the nation. It is high time we decide, whether we exist with one nation or there will be a breakage in our society and in our lives,” the Chief Executive added.

The President, however, clarified that he is not yet ready to declare Martial law, as it will not end the problem of the country.

Duterte has alluded to declaring Martial in his previous speeches but said one-man rule will not be beneficial for the country. (SunStar Philippines)


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