THE threats from ISIS-inspired groups and the Reds has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to formally
request Congress to extend martial law in Mindanao for a year.
In his letter addressed to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Speaker Pantaleon
Alvarez dated Dec. 8, Duterte said martial law administrator Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
recommended a one-year extension of the martial law to “ensure total eradication of the DAESH-inspired
Da’awatul Islamiyah Waliyatul Masriq (DIWM), other like-minded local and foreign terror groups and
armed lawless groups, the communist terrorists and their coddlers, supporters, and financiers.”
Duterte wants martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in
Mindanao to be extended until December 31, 2018.
He said the recommendation was based on the security assessment of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines, which was supported by the separate evaluation of the Philippine National Police.
“Public safety indubitably requires such further extension, not only for the sake of security
and public order, but more importantly to enable the government and the people of Mindanao to pursue
the bigger task of rehabilitation and the promotion of a stable socio-economic growth and
development,” the President wrote.
Duterte said remnants of the groups of the Maute brothers and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon
Hapilon have started recruiting and training new fighters. Members and allies of the DIWM, for
instance, were monitored continuing their efforts in regrouping in Maguindanao and North Cotabato as
well as Sulu and Basilan, geared to establish a wilayat in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The President also cited the Turaifie Group, which was allegedly monitored planning bombings
in the Cotabato area.
He said that Turaifie is believed to be Hapilon’s potential successor as ISIS emir in
In his letter, Duterte also mentioned the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Abu
Sayyaf group attacks.
Duterte also pointed out the threat of the New People’s Army, which he said took advantage of
the situation in Mindanao and intensified its “terrorist acts.” In his letter, the President listed
down the NPA’s activities against the government.
“These recent developments involving the NDF-CPP-NPA forebode another year of intensified
armed hostilities which, together with other security concerns described above, continue to make
Mindanao the hotbed of rebellion,” he said. EMontano