From the Philippine News Agency (May 27): SolGen assures martial law in Mindanao legal, says rebellion now foreign terrorist invasion
Solicitor General Jose Calida said his office is ready to defend the legality of proclaiming martial law in Mindanao as President Rodrigo Duterte's decision was based on overwhelming factual evidence.
Calida made the statement in a press conference announcing the soon-to-be launched “Mindanao Hour”, which will provide daily updates on martial law in Mindanao either through press releases or briefings.
Together with Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, the Solicitor General briefed the media on the implementation of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.
Calida said, “The proclamation of martial law and suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao should not be a cause for alarm for our law abiding citizens. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has ample factual basis for such procalamation.”
He went on to explain that when the Maute Group decided to link with the international terror group ISIS or “Daesh” in Arabic, it brought in an element of foreign invasion.
Calida said intelligence reports based from publications and literature of the two groups pointed to a joint plan to attack the Philippine government and establish a stronghold in the country. What is even more disconcerting, the Solicitor General said, was that it included plans to target “infidels” or individuals who do not share the same belief as theirs.
It included both Christians and Muslims, he added.
Calida also pointed out that ISIS has already radicalized young Muslims in the country as evidenced by the recent bombing in Davao City as well as several bombings in Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao. He noted that between the Abu Sayyaf and Maute, the latter poses a greater threat to the country’s security because of ties to ISIS.
“What’s happening in Mindanao is no longer a rebellion of Filipino citizens. It has transmogrified into invasion by foreign terrorists who heeded the clarion call of the ISIS to go to the Philippines if they find difficulty in going to Iraq or Syria,” Calida said.
He added that with the planned establishment of an ISIS caliphate in Mindanao, it is rightful that the president exercised his constitutional power to declare martial rule in the entire island.
He then encouraged all law abiding citizens to remain steadfast in their trust on president Duterte that he will do everything in his powers to get rid of the evil besieging the land.