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Philippines' Duterte says Mindanao rebellion not Maute but 'purely ISIS'

02 June 2017

"With the declaration of Martial Law, we hope that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) will quell and stop the lawless violence and rebellion in the said area to save from possible death and injuries innocent civilians and damage to properties", he said.

Duterte may also have to revisit his earlier threat to reject, in light of disagreement on human rights issues, grants from the European Union, which has heavily invested in the Mindanao peace process.

This is the fourth time in Philippine history that an elected president has resorted to martial law to address a security crisis.

"During the said briefing and after interpellation, the Members of the House of Representatives determined the sufficiency of the factual basis for the issuance of Proclamation No. 216", the resolution read.

In his remarks on Thursday, Duterte said he would be the first to call for an end to martial law once Mindanao is "stable".

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But the criticisms in Congress against Duterte's martial law were drowned on Wednesday by the passage of Resolution 1050 by the House super majority, expressing full support for the President's decision to place Mindanao under military rule.

"In light of recent developments in Marawi City and Mindanao, the president needs to personally oversee the situation to ensure the safety and security of our people", Cayetano said.

All five minority bloc senators, meanwhile, voted against the resolution: Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, and Risa Hontiveros. This has raised the risk of civilian casualties and placed constraints on the government's military operations, which have included aerial bombardments.

Rep. Harry Roque of Kabayan party-list believes martial law in Mindanao is justified.

The briefing, attended by 21 senators, started shortly before 4 p.m.

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Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said he was surprised at the gravity of the situation in the South, based on the briefing. "Marami akong sundalong patay, marami akong pulis na patay [I have many dead soldiers, I have many dead police]", Duterte said.

According to Lagman, Lorenzana told lawmakers during the briefing that "there was no prior consultation by the President with his officials entourage in Russian Federation before the imposition of martial law".

In a post on his Twitter account, Hilbay said there is a need to press Congress to review the martial law declaration and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the region.

Pangilinan, who is also a lawyer, said that disregarding the constitution would open the gates for dictatorship.

In an earlier post, Hilbay clarified that opposing the martial law is not in any way opposing the action of the military in going after the Maute and other terrorist groups.

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Escudero explained that the Congress need not convene to confirm Duterte's martial law proclamation. It's distrusting politicians who use them.

Philippines' Duterte says Mindanao rebellion not Maute but 'purely ISIS'