Help me or else

PRRD floats Martial Law warning anew
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte yesterday floated a Martial Law threat in Mindanao should local leaders failed to shape up their peace and order campaign.

“Either tulungan ninyo ako or I will declare martial law tomorrow, for the whole Mindanao,” Duterte told a gathering of chief executives from Central Mindanao at SMX Convention Center.

The message comes amid a battle being fought by the Duterte administration on several armed fronts. The Philippine Government is facing leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) amid their desire for self-determination in the proposed Bangsamoro, and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), whose armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) continues to wage war against the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Duterte pointed out that around 60% of the illegal firearms in the island are in Central Mindanao.

The President asked the Mindanao leaders not to coddle criminals and terrorists.

The leaders could simply tell authorities the exact location of terrorists and ask authorities to deal with it, he said.

“Kung hindi ninyo kaya, the military will come in,” President Duterte said of threats such as terrorists.

Asked to clarify in an ambush interview, President Duterte said the declaration, if it comes to that, will be limited to the island groups in Mindanao, as various parts of the island are being threatened by terrorism.

The or-else statement appears to be a response to a lack of control by local executives over their police.

But Duterte stood firm over the apparent contradiction of sending scalawag cops to areas such as Basilan and his desire for peace and order.

“That’s different,” Duterte told reporters. “That’s for discipline.”

Duterte threatened to remove control of local executives over the police in their areas, and letting the military maintain peace and order.

“The problem with that is that the military will be higher than you in all aspects,” he said. “I do not want to do that.”

To local reporters, Duterte’s invitation to around 200 local executives was reminiscent of his time as city mayor, where he would summon all barangay captains for a public scolding whenever crime was at a high.

But Duterte clarified to the chief executives that he was not there to scold them but to ask them politely.

“I want to set aside some time and break bread with you,” Duterte said.

President Duterte added that it is difficult to deliver his promise of autonomy to the Bangsamoro if there is no peace and order in the areas.

Duterte said he would rather die than be inutile as President.

Barilin na lang ninyo ako (you might as well shoot me),” Duterte said. Earlier in the day, he ordered the use of all available assets, including the FA50 jet fighters, to fight terrorism and rebellion, in the island.