Duterte: AFP, PNP ‘gave me reason’ for martial law declaration
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday, May 31, that information from the military and police, and the assessment that the situation was already “in the critical level” led to the declaration of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
Duterte made the statement in his speech at the Philippine Navy anniversary here on Wednesday, as government troops marked their 9th day of clashes with local terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
“They [Police and military] did not say, 'You go ahead, President Duterte' [but] they gave me sufficient information and I asked them, ‘Are we already in the critical level?’ and there was a unison and redundant, even, statements that delikado tayo sa (we are at a critical situation in) Mindanao," he said.
Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law on May 23, following clashes between government forces and the terrorist Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups in Marawi City. Government forces are still conducting clearing operations and airstrikes in the city. (READ: Marawi Clash: Special coverage)
The President reiterated that he will lift martial law in Mindanao "once order is restored and if upon the advice of the military and the police who in the first place gave me the reason to declare martial law."
Martial law is in place for a maximum of 60 days, unless Duterte gets congressional approval to extend it. The Supreme Court may also review the basis for the declaration.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines had said that even if the Marawi siege ended ahead of the 60-day period, the imposition of martial law in Mindanao would likely continue as the military wants to use the full martial law period to quell threats in other parts of the region. (READ: Martial law may continue after Marawi siege)
Administration officials led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, the martial law administrator, have been briefing both houses of Congress on martial law and the situation in Marawi. – Rappler.com
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