'Bato': Only 'bad elements' should fear nationwide martial law

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2017 05:15 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2017 05:30 PM

MANILA - Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Monday said only bad elements of society should worry if martial law will be implemented nationwide.

"Walang dapat na ikatakot. Ang natatakot lang ay yung may mga masasamang binabalak or may masasamang ginagawa dahil nga limitado ang kanilang movement at binabantayan," he said. 

He said peace-loving Mindanaoans did not fear martial law and said there is no reason for the public to fear martial law should President Duterte declare it nationwide. 

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"What I can say to the people of Visayas and Luzon is that look at martial law in Mindanao. Then that will satisfy everything. I will rephrase it, ask the Mindanaoans, how do they feel about martial law in Mindanao bago kayo mag-oppose o mag-support ng martial law, bago kayo matakot sa martial law ng Luzon at Visayas," he said.

"We don't feel any difference, martial law o walang martial law. The only difference that we feel is that yung masasamang tao di na masyado nakakaikot," he added.

Dela Rosa said armed communist rebels New People's Army are the biggest threat to the country's security because of its attacks. 

"They are all labeled terorista, so kasama na yan sa terrorism. 'Yan ang mabigat na hinahanap natin, that has been existing and persisting for the last how many years, matagal na yang problema na yan," he said. 

The top cop also said he is not in a position to give his advice or recommendation to the President especially when it is not solicited.

"Everything depends on him, kung ano sa tingin niya na kinakailangan niyang gawin. Kami naman we will just support all the way. Kung sabihin niya na mag-declare siya ng martial law nationwide, by all means we have to support our commander in chief," Dela Rosa said. 

The PNP will begin assessing the situation in Visayas and Mindanao should President Duterte ask for their recommendation. 

Dela Rosa said he will also ask his regional and provincial commanders for an assessment of their respective areas. 

They will come up with a consensus whether to recommend nationwide martial law or not. 

"Lahat ng director na yan, if they are in unison, in recommending martial law to me, then in turn it is my obligation to forward the recommendation to the President," he said.