By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said he will be harsh as he tries to preserve the country and the people from threats of terrorism following his declaration of martial law in the entire island of Mindanao.
The President placed Mindanao under martial rule at around 10 p.m. Manila time following the clashes between government forces and terrorist groups in Marawi City which erupted Tuesday (May 23) afternoon.
Duterte said martial law can last for a year in Mindanao.
“I told you, do not force my hand into it,” Duterte said in an interview over the blog of Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux Uson.
“Well, if it would take a year to do it, we will do it. If it will be over in a month then I’d be happy,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, during a press briefing in Moscow, Russia, said the declaration is possible under the grounds of rebellion and will be good for 60 days.
Duterte, meanwhile asked the people not to worry as he would act on the situation once he is back in the country. He cut short his trip to Russia to deal with the problem in Marawi.
“Pero ang Martial Law is Martial Law, ha. So kayong mga kababayan ko, who have experienced Martial Law, it would not be any different from what President Marcos did,” he said.
“I’d be harsh. I have to do it to preserve the Republic of the Philippines and the Filipino people,” he added.
Read more: Mindanao under martial law
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