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Lagman mocks Duterte’s martial law: Rebellion without a rebel

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Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman has mocked President Rodrigo Duterte for extending martial law in Mindanao supposedly to fight of a rebellion with no rebels.

In a statement, Lagman said the Armed Forces of the Philippines itself repudiated the claim of Duterte that “rebellion persists in Mindanao” in order to justify the third extension of Proclamation No. 216 which imposed martial law in Southern Philippines.

Lagman said a report from Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence last month for the entire second extension of martial law from January to December 2018 revealed that not a single person had been captured, arrested or charged with rebellion.

The report signed by Maj. Gen. Fernando Trinidad documented that during the second extension only four (4) persons were apprehended but not one of them was charged with the crime of rebellion.

The arrested individuals were: Abdelhakim Labdi Adibwho who was charged with illegal possession of explosives; Najiya Dilangalen Karon Maute who was released for insufficiency of evidence; Jamar Adbulla Mansulwhowho was released for lapse of period; and Fehmi Lassqued who was under inquest pending preliminary investigation for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The report also contradicted the claim of Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr. who told the Joint Session of the Congress that during the second extension, a total number of 143 individuals were arrested and all were charged with rebellion.

Lagman noted that four days after Trinidad submitted his report, he was reportedly replaced on December 17, 2018 by Brigadier General Pablo M. Lorenzo.

“It is unmistakable that no one was apprehended or indicted for rebellion because in fact rebellion, which is an armed uprising against he government for the purpose of removing the country or a portion thereof from the allegiance to the Republic, does not actually exist,” Lagman said.

“There are no rebels, only terrorists and lawless elements who can be subdued by an overwhelmingly mighty combined forces of the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP), who do not need the extension of martial law to finish their job,” he added.

The report was annexed to the Supreme Court petition filed by Lagman group which sought the nullification of the latest martial law extension for another 365 days.