Zubiri: We should welcome extra security measures, police presence

Increasing security measures in the country would be “great” and should be welcomed, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Thursday following President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that he might declare a state of national emergency to solve the rampant criminality in the country.

Zubiri also defended Duterte’s declaration on martial law in Mindanao.

“Sa Mindanao, martial law; pero marami ang masayang gumimik, ang daming police… Walang kaguluhan (There is martial law in Mindanao but there are so many people that happily go out, there are a lot of people, there’s no disturbance). In Mindanao, we welcome it; it’s able to bring up our GDP because dumami ang investors, ‘di ningas cogon ang checkpoint (investors are increasing, checkpoints are not sporadic),” he said at the weekly Kapihan sa Senado forum.

“This extra security measures, I feel, in Mindanao we welcome it. If he plans to do this in Metro Manila we should welcome more police presence, that’s great… I welcome it but so as long as we do not trample on the rights of the Filipinos,” he added.

But the senator doubts that the possible declaration of national emergency would lead to a nationwide martial rule.

“Hindi naman (No), it’s another level on its own. In the advent of social media, dun sa Mindanao, may nakita ka bang naaabuso na lumabas sa social media (do you see abuses that appear on social media)? I have not seen. In the advent of social media, ingat na ingat ang pulis at military na gumawa ng ganung pag-abuso (the police and military are very careful not to commit abuses),” he said.

“There’s nothing to worry about. Kung kriminal ka, lagot ka (If you’re a criminal, you’re in trouble),” he continued.

During Duterte’s briefing on Tuesday night upon arrival from a three-day official trip from Seoul, South Korea, he said he might declare a state of national emergency to solve the rampant criminality in the country. He also warned there would be “radical changes” in the country’s public order and security in the coming days.

But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque dispelled any ongoing discussions to declare a nationwide martial law. /je

READ: No nationwide martial law for now – Palace

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