‘Martial law is the answer’


Some senators are open to a proposal to declare martial law in certain areas in Mindanao to stop the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) from sowing terror and taking hostages for ransom.

A military official also said declaring martial law in Abu Sayyaf lairs will enable the military to go after the bandits and their supporters in full force.

Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd told The Manila Times on Wednesday he is willing to support the proposal to impose martial law in areas in Mindanao if that will help resolve the Abu Sayyaf problem.

“I have no objections. I will agree,” Sotto said.

Incoming Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who once served as head of the Philippine National Police, also said he is open to the idea.

He said he is willing to join a move granting additional powers to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte for him to solve the problem posed by the jihadists from the Abu Sayyaf group who beheaded another Canadian hostage–Robert Hall–early this week.

The group executed Hall after their demand for a P600-million ransom was not met.

A senior military official said declaring martial law in areas where the terror group holds sway will enable the Armed Forces of the Philippines to crush the rebel group.

“Declare martial law. Tama yun, di ba ang sinasabi ko sa inyo kung gusto ninyong malutas kaagad, total control ng military at gawin lahat ng solutions [Declare martial law. That is the right thing to do. If you want the problem solved, there should be total military control],” the official who requested anonymity, said.

He added that a state of martial law should be limited to known lairs of the ASG.

The jihadists have strongholds in Sulu and Basilan provinces in southern Mindanao.
If martial law is put in place, the official said, the military would also be able to go after local government officials conspiring with the rebel group.

“Kasi ang local government ang tumutulong sa mga kalaban, alam nyo naman yun [The local government is helping the enemy]. The local government is the one making this issue grow in perpetuity, sino nagne-negotiate? Di ba sila [They are the ones negotiating, aren’t they]? Who is in charge of the LGUs? DILG,” he said, referring to local government units and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

The official said his idea is similar to what former President Gloria Arroyo did in 2009 when she declared martial law in Maguindanao province after the massacre of 57 people in Ampatuan town.

The declaration suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the province except “for certain areas.”

The writ suspension authorized the military to make arrests even without court orders.

But the official said strong political will is needed to put an end to the Abu Sayyaf problem.

“We can only make recommendations but we are not the government, we are just part of the government. So do not always look at the military as the provider of solutions. The military is not being capacitated to provide the solutions,” he pointed out.

According to him, it is easy for the Abu Sayyaf rebels to hide because they only have to conceal their firearms and blend with the community.

He explained that the martial law he is proposing is different from what former President Ferdinand Marcos declared in 1972.

“It’s not like that. Napaka-professional na ng Armed Forces, pagdudahan nyo pa [Your Armed Forces are so professional, do not doubt us],” the official said.

“Pagtiwalaan ninyong gawin [namin], hindi naman yan [martial law]aabot ng Maynila [Trust us. It will not reach Manila],” he added.

Incoming PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa has also said he would support the declaration of martial law if it would lead to the neutralization of the terrorist group.


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  1. atat na atat mag declare ng martial pero anonymous naman… para pag pumalpak, di siya masisi..

  2. I think it’s a good idea to have the areas where Abu Sayap is active to be put in Martial Law. This people have no regards for human dignity. Beheading innocent people is an Islamic. They need to eradicated for whatever means. And putting Martial Law in the areas where the Abu Sayyaf Group is active is one of the solution.

  3. Nobody can beat the rebels when there are symphatizers that will provide food and medicines from them. Remove the symphatizers 50 percent you win. Ask Colonel Palparan, he is the master of intelligence. Every time he is assigned to a province, NPA moves to another province. He is the Ultimate Verdugo.

  4. Juan T. Delacruz on

    There is no need to declare Martial Law because the military can still go after the ASG with full force. Two Army Ranger Battalions, Two Marine Battalions, and few gun boats from the Navy will do the job. The Operation Order would be “Take NO Prisoners”, Show NO Mercy and kill them all. God sort them out later. The AFP should not worry about the Geneva Convention Law of War because the ASG are not signatory of this Document. HRC should NOT have any interest in investigating casualties from ASG’s side because the encounter can be classified as “combat environment”.

  5. The Abu Sayaff is just a “collaborative” mechanism by Malaysia and Malaysia-manipulated Aquino administration of the Philippine government (and previous administrations) to justify attempts to annihilate the warriors of Sulu and to conquer Sulu. The Malaysian thinks that if they conquer Sulu, there will no longer be a Sabah claim because Sabah claim is anchored in Sulu. In Feb 2013, the MNLF have decided to wipe out the Abu Sayaff but they seem to be “protected” by the Aquino Administration. Remember Inquirer on 6 Feb 2013 reported “Palace: MNLF attack on Abu not sanctioned”. Now read the news published in The Sun Daily in Malaysia dated 15 June 2016 with title “Money collected in kidnap case handed to police, say families”.

    After the MNLF attack against the Abu Sayaff, the PNoy Administration created a scenario in the so called Zamboanga Siege, which appears to be an act of “retaliation” to destroy the reputation of the MNLF, primarily the MNLF leader Nur Misuari and MNLF Commander Habier Malik who led the attack against the Abu Sayaff.

    Cory created Abu Sayaff Group (ASG). Ramos protected ASG. Erap attacked ASG and MILF (the two Malaysian fronts) that’s why Erap was ousted. Arroyo protected ASG. Benigno Aquino protected ASG.

    The question now is, how about this DU30 administration? Will DU30 follow the footstep of his predecessors and make himself manipulated by Malaysia’s proxy war in Philippines?

  6. ernie del rosario on

    Why don’t you name this military official itching to declare martial law ? Pati ba naman dito patago-tago pa rin and admin na ito ? Who is he ? Will he be supported by the uniformed men in this knee-jerk idea ? Mag computer war game na lang siya gaya ng o kasama ang boss niya !

    • as a native of mindanao (& i do have relatives in sulu) let me tell you that the unnamed military official is quite correct in his assumptions (although presumably some guys in the military are also into it). most of us here are sick & tired of this deadly charade. a leader like digong must do what he has to do. bleeding hearts go elsewhere if you do not have the guts to live among the people you say you represent.

  7. try other solution, once there is no alternatives, State Martial Law must be declared to restore law and order and to fight crimes……..fair enough…

    • Marzan Rodesan on

      Many alternatives have already been applied but these bandits have the local support, so Martial Law should be applied to these kidnapper for ransom. Ayaw nilang magtrabaho at magbanat ng buto tapos nangungurakot sa panggugulo at pangi-ngitnap.