Former President Fidel V. Ramos on Friday told Cabinet members and lawmakers who support the declaration of martial law in Mindanao to "temper your statements" and instead assure the public that government forces can overcome terrorist threats even without military rule.
"Temper your statements... (It) sends a sense of fear and foreboding which is very unbecoming when the present administration claims scoring successes in different areas," Ramos said in a press briefing.
"Ang maganda sanang sabihin nila ay kaya namin ito, kaya ng Sandatahang Lakas at Philippine National Police, kasama na ang mga local government officials," he added.
Ramos told policymakers not to sugarcoat and make light of the possible implications brought by the declaration of martial law.
"Many of those in the Cabinet and Congress who are very vocal about how martial law is good may have never experienced being shot at or being forced to evacuated to a safe place, or how to lose a job, livelihood or loved members of a family," he said.
"Meron pa nagsasabi diyan na martial law in Mindanao will not affect our credit ratings, businesses. Anong will not affect, e tatlong araw pa lang 'yan?" he added.
Ramos advised the national government and the military to reduce the areas of tension and violence within the 60-day period of martial law.
Ramos, who once served former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, reminded uniformed officials to "take strong measures" against the terrorists "without abusing human rights."
"Limit the violence without violation of human rights... Wala pang martial law, katakot-takot na human rights violations," he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao Tuesday evening after firefights between government forces and the Maute terrorist group erupted in Marawi City.
Duterte said he may consider expanding the coverage of the iron-fisted rule to Luzon and Visayas should there be a spillover of terrorism.
Duterte is the third Philippine president in recent history to declare martial law. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo imposed the rule in Mindanao in 2009 after the Maguindanao massacre, while Marcos began his decades-long dictatorship in 1972.