President Rodrigo Duterte said “all option are on the table” where the possibility of expanding the declaration of martial law nationwide is concerned.
He told reporters on December 13 that he might declare martial law over the entire country if the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), continue to recruit new members and intensify their attacks.
“If the NPA say they are recruiting in mass numbers and they create trouble and they are armed and about to destroy government, the government will not wait until the dying days of its existence,” President Duterte said.
He said his decision would be “up to the enemies of the state,” although he would listen to what the military and the police have to say.
The Congress voted to extend Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao by another year. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon warned that the extension seems like a “prelude” to a nationwide coverage of martial law.
The extension was questioned by some lawmakers who said the President has no legal basis in requesting for another year of martial law.
However, President Duterte cited the terrorist attacks and the frequent ambushes conducted by the NPA as proof that there is indeed rebellion in Mindanao.
“Count how many died there. Count how many died today all over Mindanao. My police are ambushed every day, also my military. There is actually rebellion in Mindanao, it’s ongoing,” Duterte said.
Earlier, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay warned the public against the extension of the martial law declaration for one more year in Mindanao is based on “fake grounds” and how approving this will “make it easier to declare nationwide martial law on another fake basis.”
Sources: ( rappler.com )