MINDANAO, Philippines — “Either tulungan ninyo ako or I will declare martial law tomorrow.”
This was President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncement during a meeting with local chief executives from Mindanao urging them to help in the fight against terrorism, drugs and other criminality in Mindanao.
The President has appealed to local leaders to use the police and military in their areas to combat terrorism and prevent it from spinning out of control until he is left with no choice but to use extraordinary powers.
Duterte said he does not want to do it that is why he is pleading for the help of the local leaders.
“Ang problema kasi ang martial law, the military and police would be higher than you already in terms of authority and lahat. Ayaw kong gawin yan. Kaya’t tulungan ninyo ako. Gamitin ninyo ang pulis, tutal nandiyan yan,” he explained.
(The problem with Martial Law, the military and police would be higher than you already in terms of authority and all. I don’t want to do that. So, help me. Use the police since it’s already there.)
President Duterte stressed that if his declaration of martial law will be questioned in the Supreme Court he will explain his reason and might be able to convince the magistrates to side in his favor.
“Kung makita ng mga judges yung briefer for the day, there is so many violence in Mindanao. They will be swayed or may option ako, I can go to Congress and report after 60 days.”
(If the judges would see the briefer of the day, there is so many violence in Mindanao. They will be swayed or I have an option, I can go to Congress and report after 60 days.)
The President said that if the local leaders will not act to stop terrorist groups, he will suspect them of coddling the enemies.
“Do not coddle the enemy,” Duterte said. “Take advantage of your power, all you have to do is to tell us where they are. Kung hindi mo kaya, papasok ang tropa ng gobyerno (If you cannot stop the terrorists in your jurisdiction, the government troops will take over).”
The president also insisted that he will not declare martial law just to have himself stay in power but because he has an obligation to protect the nation.
This is also his reason why he has been hitting hard on the illegal drugs trade. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue
WATCH: PNP promises 100% support should Pres. Duterte declare martial law
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