MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte said anew he may be forced to declare martial law in Mindanao amid terror threats and consequent drug problem, believing military rule could solve both issues in the troubled region.
"‘Pag ako ang pumasok sa Mindanao ng martial law, I will see to it,
tapos ang lahat. Eh magma-martial law lang naman ako, ‘yung lahat ng problema ng bayan diyan sa Mindanao tatapusin ko talaga," he said Thursday in a pre-dawn interview with the media after his official visit to Thailand.
(If martial law enters Mindanao, I will see to it that all problems are solved. Since it will be martial law, I will solve all the problems there in Mindanao.)
His statement was part of his answer to a reporter's question as to what instructions he may have relayed to the police or to the military on how to counter security threats after both law enforcement agencies agreed on Lanao-based Maute group's presence in Metro Manila.
Duterte, the first Filipino president to hail from the region, first pleaded to his fellow Mindanaoans to help him in solving the country's problem, warning that if terrorists endanger the lives of children by bombing schools, "you have forced my hand to declare martial law."
As part of martial law, he said, he "would use the powers of the presidency to the hilt," and order arrests and searches even without the court's permission. He added, he may also create military courts to hear cases against terrorists.
"Hindi ko na kailangan pumunta ng korte para magkuha ng
search warrant, warrant of arrest. Ang tawag nga nila diyan ASO," he said.
"‘Pagka pumasok ako sigurado ‘yan. Ang makuha ninyo puro ASO, puro aresto and maybe I will just also create...I will allow the military to try you and to put you to death by hanging," he said.
(If I enter, that's certain. You will get ASOs, many arrests. Maybe I will allow the military to try you and to put you to death by hanging.)
"Huwag ninyo akong pilitin. Kayong mga may pera tama na ‘yan. Huwag ninyong galawin ang mga bata, ‘yung mga inosente, walang kamuwang-muwang ‘yan sa diperensiya natin," he added.
(Do not force me. You moneyed people, stop it. Do not touch the children, the innocent. They know nothing of our differences.)
Duterte reiterated, his imposition of martial law will solve all problems, not only drugs.
"I will be harsh and harsh is harsh. Do not try it. Do not try it kasi
kakasahan ko talaga kayo. Do not do it please," he said.