The former President Fidel V. Ramos said on Friday that President Rodrigo Duterte is “very panicky” for planning to extend martial law not only in the entire island of Mindanao but nationwide as well.
“If it is true,” he said, “that it may be extended in Luzon and Visayas, then that is very panicky,” the former President said.
President Duterte stated a possibility of declaring a nationwide martial if the terrorist group extends their atrocities in Luzon.
“If I think that the ISIS has already taken foothold also in Luzon and terrorism is really not far behind, I might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people,” President Duterte said.
He also said that he might declare martial law in Visayas in case terrorists wouldn’t escape towards the islands now that the military have taken over Mindanao.
“I may decide to expand the area to include the Visayas because it is just a walking distance actually. And because of the many islands, they can always escape there and begin another terroristic activity. I have ordered the military, specially the Navy to embargo the islands, specially the sea that separates Mindanao from the Visayas. I am just awaiting for the hard facts. I’ll be meeting my… with the Cabinet. I’ll be briefed by all the commander of the area. I might also decide to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Visayas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the former President Ramos, who claimed to have personally came to the former Mayor Duterte of Davao City to run in the 2016 presidency elections have been recently going against him for some reasons.
He said that President Duterte’s move wasn’t exactly wrong but only appropriate for some parts of Mindanao only.
Ramos’ suggested that martial should only be limited in affected areas in Mindanao and not in the entire island.
However, Solicitor General Jose Calida said on Friday that his suggestion was not yet unattainable and pointed out that the terrorists could easily escape to other cities in Mindanao.
“There is enough peace there that need not be subjected to martial law,” he stated. “Our government must take strong measures without abusing human rights to limit violence…Tingnan natin kung mangyayari ‘yan eh wala pang martial law, katakot-takot na ang human rights violations,” as he urged authorities to not commit any abuse while under martial law.
Despite his statements, the former President expressed that he will continue to support President Duterte and hoping he’ll be able to “swing” the country around.
“I still have every hope that he can swing this country around so that we are no longer always in the headlines of international news as using foul language and at the same time, calling agencies as well as leaders, bad names. My support for him continues to be there but more important, my support for President Duterte is my support for the entire Philippine team, and that includes all of you.” he stated.