MANILA - Senator Gringo Honasan on Thursday called for "political unity" as fighting raged between government troops and Islamic State-inspired militants in the south.
Honasan said there was a "policy vacuum" with a new government in power, adding, "We are stuck to medium- or short-term policy planning."
"We need political unity. Debate is okay, it's part of democracy. We need to establish national order if priorities to protect life, liberty and property," said Honasan, who chairs the Senate Committee on National Defense.
Honasan said development was key to solving the long-running conflict in the south.
Some 400 people have been killed as the military battled the Maute group in Marawi City for over a month.
A spillover of violence to the capital from Marawi City was "possible," he said, adding the public should remain vigilant.
"Yung dalawang lalaki na dalawang oras nang umiinom ng softdrink o kaya nagkakape sa tindahan na naka-helmet at wala namang hinihintay o ginagawa, dapat inire-report na natin sa pulis," he said.
(The two men who have been drinking soft drinks or having coffee for two hours while wearing helmets, they should be reported to the police.)