Nationwide martial law? Duterte says all options on the table
President Rodrigo Duterte is not closing his door on the possibility of a nationwide martial law.
“All options are on the table,” Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview at the Philippine Army Headquarters in Taguig City.
He said expanding the scope of martial law would depend on the “enemies of the state.”
The President said he would consider declaring martial law nationwide if the communist rebels intensify their recruitment and attacks.
“Well, it is up to the enemies of the state. If sabi ng NPA that they are recruiting in mass numbers and they create trouble, and they are armed and about to destroy government,” he said.
He said he would listen to the recommendation of the military and the police whether to expand the scope of martial law.
“To what extent, what level of atrocities or attacks? It is not for me to say that, it is for the Armed Forces and the police,’ he said.
Duterte slammed critics of martial law for saying there was no actual rebellion in Mindanao.
“Bilangin mo nga kung ilan yung namatay doon? Billangin mo kung ilan namatay ngayong araw na ito all over Mindanao,” he said.
“Ina-ambush ang pulis ko araw-araw, ambush ang sundalo ko, there’s no… There is actually rebellion in Mindanao. It is — when you say it’s going — ongoing, the fighting is going on. That is what is meant by ongoing. It is happening,” he added.
Voting 240-27 with no abstention during the special joint session on Wednesday, Congress authorized the extension of martial law in the entire Mindanao.
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