Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman has criticized backers of martial law for failing to see through the trickery or deception of the Maute Group and Islamic State terrorists.
In a statement shortly after Congress voted to extend martial law by another five months, Lagman said that his colleagues accepted hook, line and sinker the propaganda schemes of the terrorists which the military purveys as truth to justify the imposition of martial law not only in Marawi but in the whole of Mindanao.
Lagman cited five lies peddled by terrorists and used by military to justify the declaration of martial law:
1) The raising of the DAESH or ISIS flag. This is cheap propaganda of the terrorist groups to attract ISIS support. This is nothing new because the terrorists have used this stunt in other violent or lawless incidents in the past. Moreover, the so-called ISIS flag is a generic emblem being used by other international terrorist fronts.
2) The reported allegiance of the terrorist groups to ISIS is another publicity stunt. Justice Bienvenido Reyes in his separate concurring opinion in Lagman vs. Medialdea said that “Further, based on the ISIS’ propaganda material Dabiq … the Maute group, the ASG, the Ansarul Khilafah Philippines, and the Bangasmoro Islamic Federation Fighters, have already pledged their allegiance to the ISIS caliphate” In other words, this is admittedly sheer propaganda.
3) The purported objective of establishing a wilayah or ISIS caliphate province in Mindanao has not been credibly established by the government. It is another propaganda stunt to attract ISIS support and as a recruitment strategy.
4) The alleged appointment of Hapilon as emir is also malevolent propaganda bereft of credible anchorage which was purportedly announced in the ISIS weekly online newsletter Al Naba. There is no independent validation from the Philippine military establishment of this propaganda account.
5) The video footage of the alleged meeting among the terrorist leaders to lay siege on Marawi was taken by the terrorists themselves, which should have been made completely secret. This is a patent propaganda material to impress ISIS and again, to intensify recruitment efforts and funding support. It is unfortunate that the military considered what appeared in the video as gospel truth.
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