Malacañang welcomed the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing majority of Filipinos supporting President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, saying the public believes on the factual and legal basis of the proclamation.
“The positive public response indicates that they believe the factual and legal basis of the proclamation of martial law for Mindanao, which includes the Maute group’s attempt to remove allegiance from the government and to deprive the Chief Executive of his powers to enforce the laws and maintain public order and safety,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Wednesday.
He also said that the second quarter SWS survey, where 57 percent of the respondents said they supported martial law in Mindanao, validated a poll that yielded a “very good” satisfaction rating for Duterte.
“Hence, the need for the call of martial law, in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it, as provided by the Constitution,” Abella said.
The June 23-26 survey released on Tuesday showed that more than half of Filipinos supported Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao, but more than six out of 10 Filipinos opposed expanding military rule to the Visayas and Luzon.
Duterte has said that he may expand the coverage of martial law in Luzon and Visayas if the Islamic State-inspired terrorists reached the islands.
“As to the same survey showing that majority, except in Mindanao, opposes expanding martial law in Luzon and in the Visayas, it is noteworthy to mention that all these would depend on the situation on the ground as assessed and recommended by military and police authorities,” Abella said.
The Islamic State-inspired Maute group staged a series of attacks in Marawi City that started on May 23, prompting Duterte to cut short his official visit to Russia and place Mindanao under martial law for 60 days.
Since then, a total of 39 civilians were reported by the Palace to have been killed by the terrorists as of Monday night.
The Palace also reported that a total of 89 government troopers were killed-in-action while the number of terrorists killed rose to 379.
As the Marawi siege entered its second month, a total of 451 firearms have been recovered by the military, while 1,723 civilians have been rescued during clearing operations.