Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday urged Filipinos to be vigilant during the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.
"Kailangan sa atin maging vigilant parati. Hindi natin papayagan na maging instrument ito ng karahasan. Hindi natin papayagan na ito’y maging daan para magkaroon ulit ng nilabanan natin ng uri ng pamamahala," Robredo said in a speech delivered in Camarines Sur.
President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law in the southern part of the Philippines after clashes broke out between government troops and the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City last Tuesday.
Robredo said, although she supports the military rule in Mindanao, the administration should still give the public an assurance that the imposition of martial law will not result in another dictatorship.
"Sa pagsuporta natin, gusto din natin humingi ng assurance galing sa administrasyon saka sa ating Hukbong Sandatahan na siguraduhin na hindi na ulit mangyayari yung nangyari noong panahon ng diktadurya."
The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier briefed Robredo about the security situation in Mindanao, and told the public that soldiers "will give primacy to human rights" during operations.
However, military officials did not rule out the possibility of restricting broadcasts and social media posts in Mindanao as some materials posted on the internet may give away the strategic location of government forces in war-torn Marawi.
Duterte said last Wednesday he may also declare martial law in Luzon and Visayas should there be a spillover of terrorism.
Duterte is the third Philippine president to declare martial law after World War 2. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo placed Mindanao under the rule in 2009 after the Maguindanao Massacre, while Marcos placed the whole country officially under martial law from 1972 to 1981.
- with a report from Mylce Mella, ABS-CBN News