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Duterte Says He Will Decide On Martial Law End or Extension Depending On Security Situation
President Duterte in Mindanao due to expire of the 60-day martial law proclamation in Mindanao. | PHOTO: MB.COM.PH
July 17th, 2017 | 11:23 AM | 2237 views
With the 60-day martial law proclamation in Mindanao due to expire in a few days, President Duterte said he will decide on his next step based on the interest of the people without undue interference of other parties.
“Huwag kayong maniwala na tuturuan ako (Don’t believe I’m told what to do),” he said at a tourism forum in Malacañang last Friday. “Nobody but nobody can tell me what to do,”
He stressed: “My duty is to preserve and defend the Filipino nation. Nobody should teach me how I should do it.”
Duterte explained the circumstances surrounding his declaration of martial law in Mindanao last month. It was not for a flimsy reason, he said. The decision was based on the “critical” situation in Marawi, which had been infiltrated by Islamic State-linked militants, he said.
“Martial law? That I will declare martial law for a flimsy reason? Meron naman pati justice natatakot kasi we’ll end up like a martial law ala-Marcos,” he said.
At the height of the rebellion in Marawi last month, he said military officials informed him the situation had reached critical level.” But he dispelled rumors that some military generals told him to declare martial law to quell the rebellion, saying it was his sole decision.
“No self-respecting general would ever tell a President right in the face, ‘You declare martial law’,” he said. The President said he asked for the general’s evaluation and he answered: “It is critical already Mr. President.”
The President placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23 after a group of Islamic militants, aided by foreign fighters, launched an attack in Marawi City in a bid to establish a caliphate.
The 60-day martial law proclamation will expire on July 22. Duterte recently said the lifting or extension of martial law will depend on the assessment of defense and security officials on the country’s security situation.
Recently, the President expressed optimism that the conflict in Marawi City would end this week to pave the way for the rehabilitation of the war-torn place.
“It’s a winding-up process now. We hope that it will end in about a week’s time at least,” the President said during his visit to quake-hit Ormoc City, Leyte last Thursday.
“We also hope to begin the rehabilitation of the city. We have promised that to the people of Marawi and we will do it,” said Duterte, who has set aside an initial P20 billion for the reconstruction efforts.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Genalyn Kabiling
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