LOOK: Duterte’s martial law report to Congress
As required by the Constitution, President Rodrigo Duterte has submitted an official report to Congress that supports his decision to declare martial law in Mindanao.
The seven-page report was received by both houses of Congress on Thursday evening.
Duterte said Proclamation No. 216, which declares a state of martial law and suspends the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao, was issued because lawless armed groups “have taken up arms and committed public uprising against the duly constituted government and against the people of Mindanao, for the purpose of removing Mindanao — starting with the City of Marawi, Lanao del Sur — from its allegiance to the Government and its laws and depriving the Chief Executive of his powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao, to the great damage, prejudice, and detriment of the people therein and the nation as a whole.
Among the key points raised in the report are:
A May 23, 2017 government operation to capture Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and brothers Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute was foiled as security forces faced “armed resistance which escalated into open hospitality.
The armed groups were able to take over facilities in Marawi City “which led to [the city’s] paralysis.”
Intelligence reports say the Maute group consists of 263 members as of 2016 and operates in Lanao del Sur. It has extensive links to foreign and local armed groups such as the Jemaah Islamiyah, Mujadihin Indonesia Timur and the Abu Sayyaf.
It has declared allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which provides financial support to the Maute group. The group also allegedly receives illegal drug money.
The government believes the group has “clear intention to establish an Islamic State” and has the capability “to deprive the duly constituted authorities — the President, foremost — of their powers and prerogatives.”
Fifty armed men attacked Marawi City Jail and facilitated the escape of at least 68 inmates.
The groups burned down the Marawi Police Station and took over three bridges in Lanao del Sur.
The Maute group burned down Dansalan College Foundation, Filipino-Libyan Friendship Hospital, Cathedral of Maria Auxiliadora and Shia Masjid Moncado Colony. Five faculty members were killed by the armed men.
They also set the buildings of Senator Ninoy Aquino College Foundation and the Marawi Central Elementary Pilot School on fire.
They hoisted the ISIS flag at the Amai Pakpak Hospital where they held employees hostage.
The group “ransacked” the Landbank of the Philippines and stole on of its armored vehicles.
Latest information (as of Thursday) says 75 percent of Marawi City has been infiltrated by the Maute group and the Abu Sayaff. Eleven members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police were killed in action while 35 others were seriously wounded.
There are reports that the armed men are looking to execute Christians and forcing young male Muslims to join the group.
Government is claiming that the group’s actions are an attempt to undermine the President’s control over executive departments and offices in the area, especially with the power outage.
“Troop reinforcement have been hampered, preventing the government from restoring peace and order in the area.”
Below is a copy of the report:
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