President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would be forced to use “extraordinary powers” if local chief executives in Mindanao would be uncooperative in addressing lawlessness in the region.
“Either tulungan ninyo ako or I will declare martial law tomorrow for Mindanao,” Duterte said during a speech in Davao City before Mindanaoan local chief executives.
The President said local officials should help address the worsening problem on illegal drugs and terrorism otherwise he would declare martial law.
“I am not declaring anything yet, except to ask you: May pulis kayo (You have a police force). Use it. Huwag niyong protektahan ang durugista (Don’t protect drug users),” he told the officials.
“I plead to you, nakikiusap ako, tulungan niyo ako. Sabihin niyo sa mga terrorista: Huwag kayo dito (I’m requesting you to help me. Tell terrorists: Get out of here). Find your place where you can be comfortable kasi I am uncomfortable,” he added.
But if the local officials fail to do their job, he said he might use extraordinary powers.
“I’m President and I’m called upon to protect everybody,” he said. “I will be compelled now to exercise extraordinary powers, not to perpetuate myself.”
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