CLARK FREEPORT — President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Martial Law will continue to exist in Mindanao until it is safe for anybody and everybody, especially the innocent people.
“If the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) see that it is already safe for everybody, when we do not have to worry about killing innocent people, then maybe I will ask them and I will say that it is already time to lift the Martial Law. But until then, Martial Law will remain,” the President stressed.
Duterte recalled that for the last four months of his talk to the public, he would reiterate that he does not want to declare Martial Law, but if the rebels forced his hands into it, then he will do so.
“At that time, I was quite already aware of what is happening on the ground. I just did not specifically mention about it just to avoid creating anxiety among our people. But I was very sure that trouble was coming,” he remarked.
He said taking into consideration the siege that is taking place in Marawi City, the AFP and PNP advised him to take a strong action on this and among the options to deal with violence is Martial Law.
He furthered that his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is meant to save lives.
“Everyday, a soldier dies in battlefield. I won’t allow any more deaths, even among civilians. You just don’t know my grief. Sometimes it is a question of not really guilt, but the burden is really very heavy. That is why I have to do something,” the President shared.
With this, he assured the wounded soldiers that they would have the best of everything. He also called on the public in praying that this fight will be short.