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President Duterte warned that he will declare Martial Law in Mindanao in a meeting with local government officials in Davao City Thursday if violence in the region escalates.
Duterte appealed to the local government officials to help him deter lawlessness in Mindanao so that he won’t declare Martial Law that he said does not do anything good.
“I am just shooting the breeze with them. Sabi ko, ‘Please let me not do it.’ You have to help me. I do not want to do it because it is not good,” Duterte said.
According to Duterte, under Martial Law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police would have supreme authority over Mindanao and local chief executives are stripped of their powers.
“Mahirap ‘yang ganon because meron tayong legitimate structure eh, ‘yung local government. Pero when it is rendered inoperable, inutile, patay na,” he said.
“Either tulungan niyo ako or I will declare Martial Law tomorrow for Mindanao,” Duterte said.
Duterte reiterated that he does not want to reach that point so he asked the local government officials for help.
But if things spin out of control, Duterte said he has no choice but to exercise extraordinary powers.
(Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)