President Rodrigo Duterte has called the clashes in Marawi City between the Maute group and government forces an act of rebellion, which is one of the justifications for the imposition of Martial Law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus under the Constitution.
The other justification is “invasion.”
In a seven -page report he submitted Thursday to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez, following his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao May 23 while he was on a working visit to Russia , Duterte said, “While the government is presently conducting legitimate operations to address the on-going rebellion, if not the seeds of invasion, public safety necessitates the continued implementation of martial law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao until such time that the rebellion is completely quelled.”
Duterte said, “Considering the network and alliance-building activities among terrorists groups, local criminals, and lawless armed men, the siege of Marawi City is a vital cog in attaining their long-standing goal: absolute control over the entirety of Mindanao. These circumstances demand swift and decisive action to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino people and preserve our national integrity.”
The Constitution authorizes the President, as Commander-in-Chief of all Armed forces of the Philippines to “call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”
The Constitution further states that “In case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he may, for a period not exceeding sixty days, suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law.”
In his report, Duterte narrated the events that led to his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao starting with the government operation to capture Isnilon Hapilon, senior leader of the ASG and the Maute Group operational leaders, Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute on May 23.
The President said government forces were “confronted with armed resistance which escalated into open hostility.”
The Maute groups, the President’s report states, “were able to take control of major social, economic, and political foundations of Marawi City which led to its paralysis.”
Duterte also said the groups’ activities, “constitute not simply a display of force, but a clear attempt to establish the groups’ seat of power in Marawi City for their planned establishment of a DAESH wilayat or province covering the entire Mindanao.”
“There exists no doubt that lawless armed groups are attempting to deprive the President of his power, authority, and prerogatives within Marawi City as a precedent to spreading their control over the entire Mindanao, in an attempt to undermine his control over executive departments, bureaus, and offices in said area; defeat his mandate to ensure that all laws are faithfully executed; and remove his supervisory powers over local governments,” the report said.
The Constitution provides that “Within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its Members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President. Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it.”
Following copies of Martial Law report from CNN Philippines tweets