President Rodrigo Duterte said martial law could last up to the end of his term if Police Chief Bato dela Rosa and Armed Forces Chief of Staff do not think the peace and order situation has not stabilized.
In a speech upon his arrival from Russia, Duterte said he took the advice of Dela Rosa and Ano to declare martial law and he would also get their advice on when to lift it.
“I am not an all-knowing President. It was the police and the military which says that we have reached dangerous level. Martial law will end after the police and the military will tell me that everything is stabilized,” he said.
“I get my facts from the military and the police. Where else? It’s connected with law and order, he added.
Duterte said martial law could last from 60 days up to five years if that was what the police and military advised him to do even if it meant asking Congress for an extension every two months.
”So maybe from another 60 days, I will ask the generals. Give me enough time to stabilize and to solve the allied problems, so can we have a peaceful… we can move on. Otherwise, this remaining term of mine, five years plus,” he said.
“If it can be done one week, I’d be very happy. But if it would take me until the end of my term to see that Mindanao is safe for everybody, I will do it,” he added.