By Alexis Romero and Edith Regalado
‘Unleash weapons of war vs NPA’
MANILA, Philippines - Help him solve security problems or he’ll declare martial law in Mindanao.
These were the choices President Duterte gave local executives in Mindanao yesterday as he urged them to use their police forces to prevent terrorism from spinning out of control.
“I am asking you… because then as President, I will be forced, I will be compelled to exercise extraordinary powers,” Duterte said during a meeting of local officials in Davao City. “Either you help me or I will declare martial law tomorrow (in) Mindanao.”
Also yesterday, Duterte ordered the military to “unleash the weapons of war” including “jets and rockets” against the New People’s Army (NPA).
Duterte accused the communist rebels of “ideological cannibalism” after they killed four policemen in an ambush Wednesday in Davao and executed four civilians last Tuesday in Pagadian City.
The President said martial law is not a good idea because it could traumatize Filipinos.
“There is no need for martial law or suspension (of the writ of habeas corpus). I can do it by just declaring martial law but (that) would open the doors of every house there, the arrest of every person, the detention of every person, everyone, anyone. The military and the police would be allowed to just pick you up on the street,” he said.
“That is my problem now. Help me. If not ... then I have to authorize the military just to arrest you, detain you and it will not be good for our people and they would go into a trauma.”
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