President Rodrigo Duterte said it was necessary to declare martial law in Mindanao because the ISIS-inspired Maute group is bent on establishing a caliphate in Mindanao.
In a seven-page report submitted to Congress before the 10 p.m deadline Thursday (May 25), Duterte said there is an attempt by the Maute group and its allied forces to “deprive the President of his power” so they can take over Marawi City.
“There exists no doubt that lawless armed groups are attempting to deprive the President of his power authority and prerogatives within Marawi City as precedent to spreading their control over the entire Mindanao,” he said.
Among the attacks that the report attributed to the Maute group were those on the government offices, city rail, transmission lines and destruction of property in the city.
According to Duterte, the attacks carried out by the ISIS-inspired group was not just a show of force but a clear attempt to establish its seat of power in Marawi City for their planned establishment of a DAESH wilayat or province covering the entire Mindanao.
“While the government is presently conducting legitimate operations to address the ongoing rebellion, if not the seeds of invasion, public safety necessitates the continued implementation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao until such time that the rebellion is completely quelled,” Duterte said.
The President submitted the report to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to explain his issuance of Proclamation No. 216 on martial law in Mindanao.
“The taking up of arms by lawless armed groups in the area, with support being provided by foreign-based terrorists and illegal drug money , and their blatant acts of defiance which embolden other armed groups in Mindanao, have resulted in the deterioration of public order and safety in Marawi City,” he said. “They have likewise compromised the security of the entire island of Mindanao.”