Duterte: Martial law in Mindanao to continue until I am 'satisfied' conflict has ended

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(CNN Philippines, June 18) — President Rodrigo Duterte said martial law in Mindanao will continue until he is satisfied that "not a single shot will be fired ever again."

In an interview with members of the press in Butuan City yesterday, Duterte said, "Hindi matatapos 'yang martial law hanggang hindi matapos 'yang putukan."

[Translation: Martial law will not end until the shootings stop.]

He added he would have all seized arms run over by a bulldozer.

Duterte commented that the rebel groups have a seemingly unending supply of impressive firearms which he said were funded by politicians as well as Maute drug money.

RELATED: Dela Rosa: Maute, narcopoliticians 'protect each other'

While Duterte said there would be no let up in the fight against rebel groups in Marawi – which he states is in the middle of a "full-blown war" – he was unwilling to sacrifice "one single soldier."

Duterte: I will follow if SC decides martial law withdrawal, but...

The President spoke on the isse of the Supreme Court possibly deciding on the repeal of martial law in Mindanao, but said its reinstatement is possible.

"If they want a – sabihin nila na there is no factual basis, then I am ready to order the military to withdraw. And we will not move. Sila na, sila diyan kung kaya nila... So kung magsabi ang Supreme Court, mali, then okay. I will withdraw," he said.

[Translation: If they want a – if they say there is no factual basis. then I am ready to order the military to withdraw. And we will not move. They can do it themselves if they are able to... So if the Supreme Court says it is wrong, then okay. I will withdraw.]

RELATED: Duterte now says he will follow Supreme Court on martial law

But he added, should the rebellion burn Mindanao and other parts of the country, he would declare martial law again. And it could be similar to the one declared by former President Ferdinand Marcos.

"This time, I will do it on my own to preserve my nation. I will not consult anybody and there is no telling when it will end. Wala na. Basta… then it could be a copycat of Marcos."

Duterte said that oppositors of martial law keep on saying they want it to stop, but the people in the field know what's going on.

"If it's just plain terrorism, why don't they visit Marawi and convince the people to stop?"

Duterte also commented on Maranao leaders in Marawi and Lanao de Sur offering to talk to the Maute group to end the crisis.

He said, "If they go to the Maute to talk about what? Surrender? O ano lang, areglo? Ganon na lang?"

[Translation: If they go to the Maute to talk about what? Surrender? Or make an arrangement? That's it?]

He said, "Paano 'yung patay ko? [What about my people who died?] How about the murderous rampage of - 'yung natamaan ng mga sniper nila? [those hit by the enemies' snipers?] They committed the crime of rebellion and there is the flag of ISIS. If that is not enough, what is it?"