Duterte: There is a war going on | Inquirer News

Duterte: There is a war going on

/ 05:12 PM May 24, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said “war” and “street fighting” have forced him to declare martial law in Mindanao.

“The hardest thing to deal with was the arrival of ISIS in our country. And it has come to pass. That there is really war going on and street fighting in Marawi itself,” he said during his arrival speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).


He said he does not know how many buildings were burned down and that there are reports that some people have already been decapitated.

Duterte arrived in Manila after cutting short his official visit to Russia where he met President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday evening, the President announced that he has declared martial law in Mindanao.


Clashes between government security forces and the armed men, led by Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, started on Tuesday afternoon. There were also reports of explosions and fires. Some individuals have claimed that civilians were taken hostage although government officials have yet to confirm such reports.

“Government must put an end to this. I cannot gamble with ISIS because they are everywhere,” he said.

“By virtue of the powers vested in me and the constitution and the law, I had to declare martial law in the Mindanao group of island for a period of not more than 60 days, effective May 23, 2017,” Duterte said. “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is also suspended.”

“Check points will be allowed, searches will be allowed, arrests without warrants will be allowed,” Duterte said.

However, he said that he will not allow abuses. “Congress is functioning. The courts are open for citizens to seek their grievance,” he said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Maute group, which had pledged allegiance to the international terror group ISIS, has occupied several facilities in the city, including a hospital.

In his speech, Duterte confirmed that the Maute group has taken over a hospital and burned down government facilities.


He said the flying of the flag of the Islamic State and taking over of the other actions of the armed groups has “deprive(d)” the local chief executive of his powers to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao.

Duterte said  Maute group’s rampage in Marawi constituted the crime of rebellion.

The Maute group was previously tagged in the bombing of a Davao City night market in September last year that killed 15 people.

Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution states that, “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”

Nationwide martial law

Duterte said he might expand the declaration of martial law to Visayas, saying it is near Mindanao.

“And because of the many islands, they can always escape there and begin another terroristic activity,” he said. “I have ordered the military, especially the navy to embargo the islands, especially the sea that separates Mindanao from the Visayas.”

“I might also decide to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Visayas,” he added.

Later in his speech, he said the coverage might be nationwide.

“If I think the ISIS has taken foothold also in Luzon and terrorism is not really far behind, I might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people,” he said.

Carrying of arms, curfew

The President said he will allow civilians to carry arms if things go out of hand and there is “severe fighting.”

“I will allow the Mindanaoans, Moros, and Christians alike, if you are in a possession of a gun licensed by government and in order to give you security and protect your family, you can bring it out,” he said.

He explained that they should have proper licenses under their name.

Duterte said he will also declare curfew in certain areas: Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and possibly in Zamboanga.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: ISIS, Marawi, Marawi City, Martial law, Maute group, Mindanao, War
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.