Duterte ponders martial law in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday indicated that he might declare martial law in Mindanao, especially in restive Sulu province, The Manila Times Online reported on Wednesday.

“I need time to ponder it deeply and it is not only a political decision, it is an emotional decision. You do not tinker with the powers of the state,” he said at a press conference upon his arrival in Davao City in response to a call by the Save Sulu Movement for him to declare martial law in six of 19 municipalities of Sulu.

The movement earlier pointed out that Abu Sayyaf bandits continue to sow terror despite the president’s declaration of a state of lawlessness in the province.

In March, Duterte warned that he might be forced to implement one-man rule in Mindanao if peace and order worsens in the region.

In a statement released on May 8, the movement branded earlier pronouncements of Duterte and Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Ano that they would crush the bandits as “only good for media sound bites”.