President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a situation briefing on the effects of Typhoon Tisoy at the Legazpi City Convention Center on December 5, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Duterte is not keen on extending Martial Law in Mindanao even calling “bugok” (rotten) any president who uses it as a threat.

“I’m not making any threats. ‘Yang martial law-martial law, wala ‘yan. Kalokohan ‘yan. Bugok lang na presidente maggamit niyan. It’s an overused, abused word, martial law and even its practice,” he said during a post-typhoon damage assessment in Legazpi City Friday.

“Two disasters. The one, umalis na [referring to Typhoon Tisoy]. We have a disaster coming up but that disaster is…We will not allow it. I am sure. My military will not allow it. My police will not allow it. ‘Yan ang masiguro ninyo,” he added seemingly alluding to the insurgency and terrorism problem in the country.

The President denounced the communist rebels its atrocities, including the killing innocent civilians who are not sympathetic to their cause.

“‘Yung mga farmers mag-neutral, ayaw magkampi sa inyo, pinapatay ninyo. Anong klase…? Kung galit kayo sa mga mayaman, ‘yung mga ganun,” he said.

Duterte said he has sent Labor Secretary and concurrent Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Silvestre Bello III to revive peace negotiations with communist leader Jose Maria Sison.

Duterte is also concerned about the Islamic State threat in Sulu that might spill to other parts of Mindanao.

Sa Mindanao, they are grappling with terrorism. And that — if there is one thing that would give me the sweat in the hands at parang natatakot ako would be the threat here of terrorism,” he said.

Even with the impending non-renewal of Martial Law in Mindanao, the president has ordered the deployment of more troops to Mindanao for peacekeeping missions.

Martial law has remained in effect in Mindanao since the Marawi City siege by local terror elements in 2017. The martial law declaration, imposed by the President, has been extended to the end of the year.

Recently, Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana and Interior Sec. Eduardo Año recommended to Duterte the lifting of martial law in Mindanao stating improved conditions in island after the defeat of the Maute terrorist group.

Former Special Assistant to the President Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said martial law may not be extended if the proposed Human Security Act becomes a law.

Baka pumasa naman po ito sa Senado. I am a member of the committee on national defense. Pinag-uusapan namin ito,” he said. (Rommel F. Lopez)