A month after declaration of martial law, gov't successful in preventing ISIS province in Marawi :Abella
Wi th President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law, which is on its 32nd day, the government has been successful in preventing the establishment of an Islamic State "wilayat" or province in Marawi City, Malacanang said on Friday.
Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under the state of martial law since May 23 following the attack of the IS-linked Maute Terror Group. Up to now, government forces continue to clear Marawi of terrorists.
"(W)e have actually preempted the establishment of a wilayat...so the main goal of preventing is actually, has already been, I believe, hugely successful," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in "Mindanao Hour" briefing in Davao City.
He said the Philippines has entered into agreements with neighboring countries so the problem would not recur.
The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia held a trilateral security meeting in Pasay City on Thursday and agreed to pursue plans of action, such as stopping the flow of funds to terrorists and contain the enemies' propaganda through the Internet.
Abella could not say if the president would ask Congress for an extension of the imposition of martial rule even before the 60-day period lapses.
Under the Constitution, the president as the commander-in-chief, may proclaim martial law or suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period not exceeding 60 days in case of invasion or rebellion.
Meanwhile, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Datu Abdul Khayr Alonto said the problem in Marawi underscores the "urgent need to address and resolve the Bangsamoro question.
"It should now be obvious to all, including government and the people of this country, that the failure to address the Bangsamoro Question has invited the invasion of foreign Daesh extremism such as ISIS, which feeds on the frustration of the Bangsamoro people towards failed peace processes with mainstream liberation fronts as well as the Moros’ desperation in the face of historical and current injustices that have bred entrenched poverty and institutionalized social, political, economic, and cultural marginalization under the status quo," he explained.
With the Marawi tragedy, he said the government and other officials should look at the merits of federalism, which is being pushed by Duterte.
"We, in the Bangsamoro, therefore support without reservation the President’s determination to federalize the country through Constitutional change," he said.
In order to shift to a federal system, the 1987 Constitution must be changed. Celerina Monte/DMS