President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday again floated the idea of declaring martial law, as he warned leaders in Mindanao from protecting "enemies of the state."
"Do not coddle the enemies of the state and if it widespread . . . ibang istorya na ito," Duterte told reporters in Baguio City.
The president explained that he is against martial law but if killing of innocent people and bombings of schools in Mindanao will persist, then he will be forced to declare it.
"Sinabi ko ayaw ko ng martial law . . . Pero kung gusto niyo talaga mapipilitan ako . . . Martial law is martial law," he said.
"I will implement Martial Law the way it is worded and defined in dictionaries and legal books."
On re-launched war on illegal drugs
Duterte also warned drug lords and pushers, noting that not even human rights advocates can help them.
"Kayong mga durugista. Kayo mga drug lords. Do not even think human rights or propaganda will help you," he said.
The president said criminals should not force him since his oath of office is more "sacred" than issues of human rights.
"Ang martial law is walang search warrant. Walang warrant of arrest. Tandaan niyo yan," he said.
The Philippine National Police has again taken the leadership role in Duterte's drug war with a promise that the campaign will be less bloody this time.