PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte reiterated on Friday the possibility of declaring Martial Law in Mindanao if violence caused by rebellions continues.
The President, during the 33rd Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary National Convention held at the SMX Convention, SM Lanang, Davao City last May 19, said that this will only happen if the rebels will continue the bloodshed in different parts of Mindanao despite the warnings he had been given.
"I already warned you. Please don't force my hand to kill you. I hate to do it. I do not want to do it. But if there will be loss of lives without any valid reason at all and just because of the pleasure of killing innocent lives, I will use my authority against you," Duterte said.
The President recalled previous incidents where improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were planted by a group of rebels in a national high school and the bombing of a museum, both in Zamboanga City.
"I do not want to name a color, group, or religion but you know who you are. You know I already warned you after what happened in Zamboanga," Duterte said.
Once Martial Law is declared in Mindanao, the President said he will not interfere with the authority given to the military except to give orders only about the management and deployment of soldiers. He added that curfews and raids are expected to ensure the eradication of rebellions in the island.
"If I had to kill thousands of people just to keep Philippines a thousand times safer, I will not have doubts doing it," Duterte said.
He ended his speech by telling Mindanaoans not to be fearful of the possibility of Martial Law, seeing it as the last option of his administration once the chaos imposed by rebellions becomes worst.
"I will not declare it for the sake of extending my term. It is my decision to protect and defend the Filipino nation," Duterte said.
The declaration of Martial Law, the President said, will not only solve the issues of rebellion but also the land disputes in Mindanao which he believed is the dominant reason why there is chaos in the island.