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Palace: Martial law effective vs Maute

Malacañang said yesterday that President Duterte made a wise decision in declaring martial law in Mindanao as it has been effective in fighting the Maute Group despite not meeting the June 2 deadline to flush them out of Marawi City.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella assured that government forces will not rest until the terror threat in Marawi has been completely stopped.

“The enemy is turning out to be more restrained, which shows that putting Mindanao under martial law was a wise decision,” Abella said during the fourth Mindanao Hour press briefing over Radyo ng Bayan.

According to the Palace official, the Army is now able to contain the terrorists’ remaining pockets of resistance, disabling them to get outside support.

“Our forces are determined to finish off the enemy should they continue to refuse to surrender,” he said.

“As we contain and destroy the enemy, we assure our people of every measure to make the country safe for them and to everyone abroad who wants to visit the land,” Abella said.

He said that the activities of the Maute Group have been well-planned and that they have made adequate preparations before attacking Marawi.

“The enemy deliberately chose to retreat to the commercial area of the city so they can sustain themselves and their ammunition, so they could forage from there,” Abella said.

“It is definite, however, that they will not be able to sustain it for long.”

According to Abella, the terror group most likely stocked up on ammunition they got from the city jail and armories that they ransacked. They have also recovered government items they foraged from other areas of the city, where they obtained their supply.

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for 60 days following the attacks in Marawi last May 23. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)