Only ‘bad people’ should fear nationwide martial law – Dela Rosa
Peace-loving people would not need fear the declaration of martial law nationwide but ‘bad’ people should beware, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said on Monday.
In an ambush interview in Camp Crame, Dela Rosa said the expansion of martial rule to the entire country was President Rodrigo Duterte’s prerogative.
“Hindi ko sya papangunahan. Anyway, takot na takot ba kayo sa martial law? Punta kayo sa Mindanao tanong kayo sa mga tao run kung sila natatakot sa martial law. Wala man,” Dela Rosa told reporters.
“My neighbors, friends, relatives will say wala namang pagbabago. Sa mga peace-loving people walang pagbabago kung may martial law o wala sa Mindanao. The same. Pero sa mga masasamang tao malaki ang epekto sa kanila,” Dela Rosa said.
“Their movements are restricted. Their diskarte is limited at karamihan sa kanila nagtatago. ‘Yun ang epekto ng martial law sa Mindanao,” he added.
But when pressed if he would recommend a martial rule nationwide, the PNP chief said he would assess first the situation and would wait for the recommendation of his subordinates.
“When my subordinates, my regional directors, ay mag-recommend sa akin na sir, mas maganda siguro i-martial law na natin. It is my obligation to recommend it to the President,” Dela Rosa said.
When Duterte was asked last Dec. 13 if he would consider extending the scope of martial law to the entire country, he said: “All options are on the table.”
“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 added.
Duterte also said he would listen to the recommendation of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
While Dela Rosa said talks of recommending the expansion of martial law was still “uncalled for,” he also admitted that martial law would make their job easier.
“Mas kayang sugpuin kung may martial law. Kaya naming sugpuin kung walang martial law, pero it will give us a favorable working condition, a favorable operational environment kung may martial law. That would make our job a lot more easier,” he said.
The PNP chief said there was nothing to fear about Duterte’s martial law.
“My assurance to the people of the Visayas and Luzon is that look at martial law in Mindanao. It will satisfy everything,” he said.
“O kaya you ask the Mindanaoans, how do you feel about martial law, bago kayo mag-oppose o matakot,” he added.
Voting 240-27 with no abstention during a special joint session on Wednesday, Congress approved the extension of martial law in the entire Mindanao until Dec. 31, 2018. /cbb