- President told Filipinos he is coming home to deal with terrorist attack on Marawi City
- He told public martial law to be harsh, no different from the time of late strongman
- He also explained need for martial law, said he had to declare it to save the country
MANILA, Philippines – Barely a day after declaring martial law over Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte told Filipinos he is coming home from Russia to promptly deal with the Maute militants.
“Mga kababayan [My countryment], do not be too scared. I am going home. I am cutting my visit here to be with my countrymen and I will deal with the problem once I arrive,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying during an interview.
Saying he would be happy if the problem was settled quickly, Duterte nevertheless told Filipinos he would be harsh and that martial law would not be any different from the time of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“Let me just tell everybody that I have declared martial law for Mindanao. How long? Well, if it will take a year to do it, we’ll do it. If it’s over within a month, I will be happy. Pero ang martial law is martial law ha [But martial law is martial law]. So kayong mga kababayan ko [So to my countrymen], you have experienced martial law, it may not be any different from what the President Marcos did. I’ll be harsh,” he said.
The president also explained he had to declare martial law to save the country.
“I have to do it to preserve the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
Duterte’s martial law declaration came in light of the militants’ attack on Marawi City. Clashes with government troops have resulted in at least three deaths, several wounded, burning of several buildings, and a power blackout in the city.