“I WILL not hesitate to impose martial law nationwide if the Reds resort to fighting in the streets.”
President Rodrigo Duterte issued this warming to the communist rebels even as he vowed to crack down on them.
“Do not commit the mistake of staging a rebellion. ‘Yung sabihin mo na there’s fighting on the streets. I will not hesitate to impose martial law all throughout the country and order the arrest of everybody,” Duterte said in a media interview during his visit at Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City.
The President said he will not hesitate to use the military and the police to quell rebellion.
“Ayaw ko makipagpatayan, but if you do that I will arrest all of you. All of you. Hindi ako nananakot, sinasabi ko lang sa inyo ‘yan,” he added.
The President added that should the Communist Party of the Philippines order rebels to take to the streets, he will “declare that day a holiday.”
“No government time. Stay at home. Mga estudyante, kung gusto ninyong sumali, you are free,” he said.
“You can have the city, but do not create trouble. ‘Yan lang talaga ang warning ko. Do not resort to destruction and trouble because I will order the military and the police to go against you,” he added.
He also warned communist rebels against resorting to torching and vandalism in urban areas.
“I will not accept it. Ang kaharap ninyo baril, sigurado ‘yan,” he said.
Duterte had ordered a halt to the negotiations with the communists after members of the New People’s Army (NPA) launched attacks in July, especially after the NPA attacked a convoy of the Presidential Security Group in Cotabato City, which Duterte insisted was an attempt on his life.