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Duterte bares Maute plan for Mindanao

President Duterte yesterday claimed that the Maute Group attack on Marawi City is a prelude to the planned establishment of an Islamic State province in Mindanao.

Duterte, in a report submitted to Congress justifying his declaration of Martial Law and the suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Mindanao, said the recent developments in Marawi City since May 23 is a clear attempt to deprive him of his powers and prerogatives.

It also said that considering the network and alliance-building activities among terrorist groups, local criminals, and lawless armed men, the siege of Marawi City is a vital cog in the Maute Group’s goal of having absolute control over Mindanao.

“These circumstances demand swift and decisive action to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino people and preserve our national integrity,” Duterte said in the report, referring to the group’s armed siege and acts of violence committed against civilians and government authorities and institutions and establishments and their taking control of major social, economic, and political foundations which led to the paralysis of Marawi City.

“The events commencing on 23 May 2017 put on public display the groups’ clear intention to establish an Islamic State and their capability to deprive the duly constituted authorities – the President, foremost – of their powers and prerogatives,” 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,” he added. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)