By Fred Lobo
Never commit abuses while enforcing martial law in Mindanao, President Duterte has warned government forces.
Do do your job well or face court-martial, the Punisher said.
Reminded of abuses when President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared martial law in 1972, Duterte vowed not to tolerate military abuses during the effectivity of martial rule in Mindanao.
“Members of the miltary, police and everyone, do not challenge the government. No abuses of any kind,” he warned.
“For those military offenders, you will have a summary hearing of a martial court. They will be subjected to military laws,” Duterte said in a press conference.
Serve and do not offend anyone. Or go to a military camp,the President warned.
Duterte, who declared martial law in Mindanao following the deadly attacks by the Islamic State-linked Maute Group in Marawi City, said he prefers a swift return to normalcy.
But martial law would be withdrawn only after the police and military have decided the security situation in Mindanao has become stable, he pointed out.
“We must be fast and restore normalcy. If it can be done one week, I’d be very happy. But if it would take me until the end of my term to see that Mindanao is safe for everybody, I will do it,” said the commander-in-chief.
Translation: The shorter, the better.
Duterte reported his declaration of martial law in the entire island of Mindanao in a two-page Proclamation No. 216 submitted to the House of Representatives.
Congress, through a joint session of the two chambers, can revoke it, as provided under the Constitution.
The President said he declared martial law in Mindanao because of rebel threats, adding he would “not allow the country to go to the dogs.”
“I am willing to gamble with martial law. And I will put a stop to it and I think everything that ails Mindanao,” he said.
The President denounced the Maute Group and its terror acts that resulted in the loss of lives, destruction of property, and displacement of innocent civilians.
“If they want to talk about peace, lay down their arms and I will go there and talk to them, ‘ he said.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III assured that the country’s growth momentum will remain on track despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
ML will immediately contain the threats of lawless elements in a limited area in Mindanao.
“The economy is in no way threatened by the imposition of martial law. The military is in full control of the government installations and major infrastructures on the island,” Dominguez said in a statement.
“Martial law will ensure that these facilities are protected so that business transactions will be unaffected,” he added.
Dominguez added that President Duterte is prepared to do “anything and everything” to put an end to the lawless violence and restore normalcy in the affected areas as quickly as possible so as not to affect the economy.
“The economy is rapidly growing; it is expected to grow by 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent during the year with both internal and external demand contributing evenly to growth,” he said.
Meanwhile, former President Fidel V. Ramos said in a press conference that martial law should not be prolonged or expanded.
Just use it properly, advised Steady Eddie.
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