DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte allayed fears that he will declare Martial Law, saying it is “kalokohan” (stupidity).

“I do not allow oppression in this country. And I will never do it,” he said.

Duterte said the country was placed under Martial Law before but it did not do the country any good.

“Nag-Martial law na man tayo noon? Anong nangyari? Gumaling ba ang buhay natin? Wala. (We had Martial Law before, what happened? Did our lives improve? No),” Duterte said addressing participants of the 3rd Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Local Government Summit held at the SMX in Lanang here Thursday.

“Yung sabi nila martial law, mag-martial law ako dito,ano? Patayin ko lahat ng Maute pati yung mga religious extremists? Then? Bakit yung bang nasa utak nya, maipasa niya sa anak niya? Hindi, kanya yun eh. But what this guy would remember ang tatay niya pinatay (They said I will declare Martial Law, what for? To kill the Maute and the religious extremists? Then? Will he be able to transfer his ideals to his child? No. But what this guy would remember is that his father was killed),” Duterte said.

In October, Duterte said he was tempted to declare Martial Law because of the rampant illegal drug trade in the country.

“There are 6,000 barangay captains doing their own thing, manufacturing shabu. How am I supposed to deal with… sometimes I am tempted, really, to declare martial law. But it is not feasible, they say, well, fine,” he said in his speech delivered to the Jewish community in Makati City.

“That’s why I declared state of lawlessness, because narcopolitics has entered my country,” he added. Duterte declared state of lawlessness nationwide after the Roxas night market bombing here that claimed the lives of 15 persons and injured 69 others.

After the attack against Duterte’s advance team in Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, a leader of the group,  Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace called for a thorough investigation.

In an interview with Davao Today, Drieza Abato Lininding, secretary general of Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace said their group went to Barangay Emi, the area where two improvised explosive devices were detonated, injuring seven members of the Presidential Security Group and two soldiers.

Lt. Col. Michael Aquino, PSG spokesman, he said President Duterte’s advance party was going towards the area of the 103rd Brigade in Lanao del Sur when two improvised explosive device were detonated in Barangay Matampay, a neighboring village of Barangay Emi.

Read: PSG in critical condition, 8 others hurt in attack

Lininding said “there was no conclusive evidence yet that the shrapnels found were really parts of an IED, but the reports were quick to call it an ambush.”

In his Facebook post on Tuesday shared 251 times, Lininding said if it was indeed an 81-milimeter IED “it will leave a hole or a crater where it exploded, but looking at the picture no crater was found and the plastic hose and other garbage is very much intact (even as) the explosion could have flown them away.”

“Our fear is that this is part of a scenario to declare martial law in Lanao area,” he said.

“Now that the PNP declared a nationwide terror alert level 3, and (President Duterte) ordered the AFP to do what ever they think is necessary in Lanao. What do (you) think will happen to our communities? How many fall guys will pay for this? Ok lang sana kung mga druglords or corrupt politicians ang mabibiktima pero hindi eh kami na mga ordinaryo at mahihirap ang tatamaan nito,” Lininding said.

Sheena Duazo of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan also said they are calling for an independent investigation on the bomb threats and ambush in Marawi City.

She said they are also alarmed that the alert came out after there are threats of suspending the writ of habeas corpus.

“We are wary that peace spoilers from the ranks of the AFP, the PNP, and the oligarchs together with their imperialist masters will sabotage the peace effort of President Duterte,” Duazo said.

“We hope that Pres. Duterte will be objective and critical enough to see that there are plenty of saboteurs around him,” she said.

The military dismissed the martial law scare as mere rumors.

The Philippine National Police issued a terror alert “Level 3” nationwide Thursday after an IED was found outside the area of the United States Embassy in Manila.

The security alert would mean more stringent checkpoints, but Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said there is no cause of alarm.

“Just stay alert, do not be alarmed,” Bato said.

However, militant youth group Anakbayan expressed alarm that the threats posed by terrorist groups could be used to impose a crackdown on political dissent and threaten the declaration of Martial Law.

“We warn Duterte against using the threat of terrorism to repress political dissenters. We urge public vigilance, especially since this terror warning comes suspiciously at a time of mounting protests against the Duterte-Marcos alliance,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

“Of late Duterte has taken to threatening the murder of rights activists and suspending the writ of habeas corpus that it would seem the president sees the dictator as a role model. Let this serve as a warning that the Filipino youth will be at the forefront of the fight against fascism,” said Crisostomo. (davaotoday.com)

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