MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is not closing the door to the possibility of declaring martial law nationwide, even as he said this still depends on the “enemies of the state.”
Duterte’s statement came on the same day the Congress approved the extension of martial law in Mindanao for another year.
“”It is up to the enemies of the state…If the NPAs say that they’re 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,” Duterte told reporters on Wednesday.
When asked whether a nationwide martial has ever been considered, Duterte said all options are on the table.
”All options are on the table. All options are on the table. There’s only one rationale there: the existence of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
The commander-in-chief added a threat to the existence of the republic will certainly trigger a reaction and he is expected to do what he must do to prevent such things.
However, Duterte clarified that while the government can always preempt and prevent this kind of disaster, the extent and the level of the attacks against these enemies is not for him to say, but would be up to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).