The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte cites Maute’s “capability to sow terror” in Proclamation 216

May 24, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has cited the "capability" of the Maute Group and other rebel groups to "sow terror" in declaring martial law in the entire island of Mindanao. This was contained in Proclamation No. 216 "declaring a state of martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao," which he signed on May 23, 2017 in the Russian Federation while he was on a visit there. The Proclamation recalled the previous atrocities committed by Maute, which prompted Duterte to issue Proclamation No. 55 on September 4, 2016 declaring a state of national emergency nationwide on account of lawless violence in Mindanao. The series of "violent acts" perpetrated by the Maute terrorist group include attack on the military outpost in Butig, Lanao del Sur in February last year, killing and wounding several soldiers, and the mass jailbreak in Marawi City in August 2016, freeing their arrested comrades and other detainees. "Today, 23 May 2017, the same Maute terrorist group has taken over a hospital in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, established several checkpoints within the City, burned down certain government and private facilities and inflicted casualties on the part of Government forces, and started flying the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in several areas, thereby openly attempting to remove from the allegiance to the Philippine Government this part of Mindanao and deprive the Chief Executive of his powers and prerogatives to enforce the laws of the land and to maintain public order and safety in Mindanao constituting the crime of rebellion," the Proclamation stated. "This recent attack shows the capability of the Maute group and other rebel groups to sow terror, cause death and damage to property not only in Lanao del Sur but also in other parts of Mindanao," it added. The Proclamation said that the state of martial law was declared for a period "not exceeding sixty days." "The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall likewise be suspended in the aforesaid area for the duration of the state of martial law," it added. Duterte's Proclamation was based on Section 18, Article VII of the Constitution, which provides that, " case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, he (the President) may, for a period not exceeding sixty days suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippine or any part thereof under martial law..." The Proclamation also cited Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6968, which provides that "the crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising and taking arms against the Government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives." (Celerina Monte/DMS)