Duterte not advocating for another martial law extension

By Argyll Geducos

President Duterte is not anymore keen on extending the martial law in Mindanao but said he will ask Congress for it if local chief executives in the island think it is for the best interest of people in Mindanao.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte (YOUTUBE) Pres. Rodrigo Duterte (YOUTUBE)

Duterte made the statement as he led the inauguration of the Candon City By-Pass Road in Candon, Ilocos Sur Thursday evening.

In his speech, Duterte expressed that he does not think martial law in Mindanao should remain but said there still is a problem in the southern part of the country.

"Mindanao continues to be a problem. I am not advocating for any continuance of the martial law," he said.

"But if the local government units, the governors, mayors and even congressmen, would find it that it would be to the best interest of the Filipino in Mindanao, I would not hesitate to say yes," he added.

Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law when a war sparked between government forces and ISIS-inspired terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The martial law was supposed to last for only 60 days but Congress granted three more extensions. It is set to lapse at the end of 2019.

In his speech Thursday, Duterte hit the ISIS anew for their "corrupt" and "stupid" ideology.

"Now, yung Abu Sayyaf, Maute, they are all ISIS. They have pledged allegiance to a very corrupt and empty and stupid religious ideology. They do nothing but kill and destroy," he said.

"They cut off the heads of my soldiers, decapitate the --- mga pulis mahuli nila. And ayon ‘yung mga civilians pati ‘yung na-kidnap nila na mga foreigners (police, civilians, and foreigners that they capture)," he added.

According to the President, he told the military to not hesitate when facing against terrorists in Mindanao.

Well, if they want killing, I told the military, 'Give it to them. Ibigay mo. Gusto nila ng patayan (If they want death, give it to them),'" he said.