Mindanao Hour Press Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella with Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense and Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., Spokesperson of Armed Forces of the Philippines
Kalayaan Hall, Malacañan Palace
03 July 2017


PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Good morning. We’d like to welcome to you to this week’s edition of Mindanao Hour.

With us this morning are Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana and Spokesperson Restituto Padilla.

We’d like to begin with giving you an update on the situation in Marawi as of 6 p.m. of the 2nd of July 2017.

We’d like to begin with the statistics.

Civilians killed by terrorists – 39. Adjusted from 44 to 39 based on [SOCO] report on the findings of recently [recovered] cadavers.

Also, civilians rescued by government troops, 1717, from 1,716, or plus one.

Terrorists killed, 336, from 322, an increase of 14.

And government casualties – 84.

Recovered high-powered firearms from terrorists 402 from 398 or plus four.

We’d like to make a note. Again, we’d like to repeat — to reiterate that it is government’s policy not to negotiate with terrorists.

The AFP reiterates its call to all our civilians to practice the concept of shared responsibility in security by being vigilant, alert, and conscious of their immediate environs wherever they are and to report to authorities suspicious persons or items left unattended immediately.

If we work together, we can secure and keep our communities safe from all threats.

Significant Developments:

  1. The military offensive operations focused on the remaining pockets of resistance continue;
  2. Clearing operations by sector also ongoing;
  3. Interagency meetings and consultations preparatory to the rehabilitation, reconstruction and rebuilding of Marawi ongoing.

We’d like to make some references now to reports from DSWD.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development is providing P5,000 financial assistance [to] each validated internally displaced family.

The P5,000 is broken down as follows: P1,000 as immediate assistance for the observance of Ramadan; P4,000 as assistance for their return to their communities once it is safe for them to do so.

Around 72,000 internally displaced families are subject for validation.

As of 30th June 2017, distribution of P1,000 immediate assistance has already reached 50 percent. The P4,000 shall be provided upon their return to their communities.

The DSWD consulted with its concerned Field Offices, DSWD-ARMM and Marawi City, and agreed that the registration of new internally displaced families shall continue until the 5th of July 2017.

End of report from DSWD.

From the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

CabSec. Leoncio Evasco ordered housing agencies under the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to reallocate half of their current Gender and Development (GAD) budget and also the remaining unutilized GAD budget from previous years to address the needs of women affected by the conflict in Marawi by providing hygiene kits and psychosocial support services.

This from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary.

That ends the report. We’d now like to give way to Secretary of Defense Lorenzana.

SEC. LORENZANA: Good morning. I just got the Admin Order No. 3 creating an interagency task force for the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of the City of Marawi and other affected localities.

This means the Marawi and the immediate environment especially the neighboring towns who were also evacuated by their residents.

So we are now preparing the rehabilitation plan. I was designated as the chairperson of this task force called the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

And we are now preparing the mechanism to go into rehabilitation and recovery as soon as the fighting stops in Marawi.

And since I am also the chairman of the NDRRMC, the National Disaster Management Council, I’m going to use the NDRRMC as the vehicle to implement the rehabilitation of Marawi because we consider the events in Marawi as man-made disaster.

So that we do not need anymore to designate additional or other people to be members of the NDRRMC but we will use the current mechanism of the NDRRMC.

So the first thing that we would do after the fighting stops is to clear the areas of any left IEDs or any explosives. After which, we are going to allow the return of the civilians, of the residents of Marawi.

We will first… [Can we have the map please?]

Okay, this is what’s happening in Marawi now. The area of conflict is actually this central business district. Ito, itong lugar na ‘to.

And according to the commander on the ground, General Galvez, yesterday, they still have to clear 1,500 houses and buildings.

And at the rate of clearing of 70 to 100 houses per day, it will take them some time to clear the area.

Now, this area around, this is where the Capitol is, MSU, I think these areas are not actually affected by fighting and we may allow the residents to go back to their houses here because after being away from their houses for more than one month, then I think everybody wants to go back to their homes, rebuild it kung nasira. And, of course, it’s always comfortable to be going back to your homes.

So this is the area that we are going — that may take a lot of time for recovery and rehabilitation because there are lots of buildings destroyed because of our aerial bombings and also because of the actions of the enemy blowing up buildings as well and burning houses.

So we now have a mechanism for as long as tumigil na ‘yung bakbakan diyan, mag-start na kami ng rehabilitation.

In fact, we may be… If… With this document, we can now start stockpiling construction materials for the rehabilitation of Marawi.

We already have one engineering brigade, Army brigade, always on standby who will go there immediately once the fighting stops to start rebuilding the infrastructure of the city — lights, water, roads, bridges that were destroyed, if there are any, and rebuilding of houses, buildings of the government.

Now the President has decided to also help in the rebuilding of private homes that were destroyed during the conflict.

One of the things that we would like to restore immediately are the stores so that when the residents go back then they have places to buy their provisions.

Also the banks, if we can restore the banks, so that the banking system or the businesses of the area will resume.

So that’s the idea. We will involve the local government leaders there, the mayors, the governors, the barangay captains, because we are going to establish a defense mechanism here so that the event — the event for the past month in Marawi will not be repeated.

So from there maybe we will — we can entertain questions from you.


Pia Ranada (Rappler): Good morning, sir. Sir, the President always says that he will depend on the security officials on his decision to lift martial law. So at this point, sir, given the situation in Marawi and Mindanao, would you say that security officials or yourself will recommend to the President to lift martial law?

SEC. LORENZANA: We’ll wait for a couple of weeks more so that we will see the real picture.

We don’t have yet the necessary information to recommend the continuation or not of martial law.

Ms. Ranada: Also, we want to ask about — information about Isnilon Hapilon. Can you just verify reports that he has left Marawi? Where is he now?

SEC. LORENZANA: According to our latest info, he’s still inside Marawi. In fact, there is an information we got this morning that he’s hiding in one of the mosques there in Marawi.

I think this is maybe correct because we also have people watching his arrival in Basilan. There were three fighters from Marawi that arrived in Basilan more than a week ago, but Isnilon was not one of them.

So we still believe that he is still in Marawi.

Henry Uri (DZRH): Secretary, good morning. ‘Yung binanggit niyo lang po sa mga private homes na tutulungan din ng gobyerno para mabangon muli. Can you go on details on that? Papaano po ang proseso? Magkano ang pwedeng maitulong sa kanila para maitayo ulit ‘yung bahay? At same as old structure ba ‘yung gagawin ninyo o pwedeng sa kanila na manggaling ‘yung mga bagong designs doon sa mga—

SEC. LORENZANA: Tingnan natin muna. Tingnan muna natin kung ano ‘yung mga — kung ‘yung sira eh pwede pang i-repair o kung bagong structure na.

So we’ll wait for the assessment and survey of the engineering brigade, engineering people so that we can decide properly.

Pero ‘yung mga bahay diyan na nasiraan lang ng pintuan, I think what we will do is just provide them with the materials at tsaka help from our carpenters, to help them restore their houses.

I believe that a lot of those houses are still livable, all you need is a little bit of repair. Except ‘yung this central business district here that are actually — talangang gibang-giba ‘yan eh.

That is where we are going to spend a lot of resources and time to restore them to their previous—

Mr. Uri: Sir, may pondo na ho ba tayong nakita after assessment? Kahit ballpark figure lang.

SEC. LORENZANA: ‘Yung pondo na inapprove ni Presidente is 20 billion. ‘Yun ang kanyang sinabi na rehabilitation fund ng Marawi.

Isa pa pala, the DSWD is planning to put up tent cities for the evacuees ano so that they can move from Iligan to Marawi. Maybe the people that we are going to put in the tent cities will be those — whose houses have been destroyed completely.

But for those who are still livable, then I think they can go back to their houses. Kung hindi man sila nakatira sa bahay nila, then they can pitch tent beside their house, kasi alam niyo naman… Kahit ako kung taga-rito ako at hindi naman sira-sira ‘yung bahay ko, I can go there and live with a tent sa tabi ng bahay ko, so I can start rebuilding my home and cleaning it.

Mr. Uri: Secretary, correction lang po, 20 billion right ano po?

SEC. LORENZANA: 20 billion pesos.

Mr. Uri: 20 billion pesos. Kasama na ho diyan ‘yung mga establishment na nagiba? Itong bagong pabahay assistance niyo, kasama na ho lahat doon sa 20 billion?

SEC. LORENZANA: Kasama na diyan but I — we do not know if that is enough already.

So maybe the government should be prepared to add some more if there is ano — kung kulang ‘yun.

Mr. Uri: Last question. May pondo ho ba tayong inaasahan from the United States for the rehabilitation?

SEC. LORENZANA: We do not know yet but we have already gotten some information that they will help.

We do not know if they are going to help in kind or in funds or whatever.

Maricel Halili (TV 5): Hi, sir. Good morning. Sir, I understand ‘yung pong deadline, six-month deadline na ibinigay to neutralize terrorists including Abu Sayyaf, nag-lapse na po. So how far are we from neutralizing terrorist groups, bandits, specifically Abu Sayyaf?

SEC. LORENZANA: Nag-lapse na ba? Hindi, kasi February 1st nag-umpisa ‘yun eh. So June 30… June… July 30 pa, meron pa kaming isang buwan.

We still have one month because when General Año made the deadline, it was February already. So we still have one month.

So hopefully, we can finish the Abu Sayyaf. Because we are actually talking about the Abu Sayyaf there in Marawi. But don’t forget that we still have Abu Sayyaf existing in Jolo and in Basilan.

Ms. Halili: And how far are we, sir, from — ?

SEC. LORENZANA: Hindi ko alam kung how far are we. But we are trying to beat that deadline.

Ms. Halili: Pero ano na, sir, ‘yung naging progress natin for the past few weeks?

SEC. LORENZANA: Progress? Well, what happened in Marawi is that we were able to neutralize a lot of those Abu Sayyaf that came from Jolo also and Basilan. So medyo nabawasan sila.

I don’t know how many more are left in Jolo. We are still trying to verify how many are still there in Jolo and Basilan. And our troops are still operating there also in tandem with what we are doing in Marawi.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Excuse… General Padilla would like to add.

BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: May I just add to the — to what the Secretary has mentioned?

The Chief of Staff, General Año, is very happy with the progress of our troops in the Zambasulta area and AOR also are directly under the Western Mindanao command.

And as proof of the accomplishments of the Armed Forces, kailangan lang nating maalala na ‘yung sinimulan nating operasyon diyan ay laban sa grupo ng ASG na patuloy na nandudukot sa dagat.

Any abduction in the high seas was one of the principal criminal activities that they have been doing and that we wanted to address, something that was a cause of national embarrassment. 

May I ask you, have you read anything of that sort happening lately? For more than three months, I guess, we have not heard anything.

So we have successfully degraded the capability and the capacity of this group to undertake many of these criminal activities that have been undertaken in the high seas.

Hence, the satisfaction of the Chief of Staff about the progress of this operation and our commitment as mentioned by the Secretary himself to still pursue what we need to do in the remaining time we have for the rest of July.

So again, critical to the success of our forces there is the full cooperation of the LGU and the full cooperation of the citizenry. So we expect to get more cooperation from the LGU and the citizenry so that we can see more people surrendering.

We don’t like to kill. But if they keep on fighting and they keep on doing criminal activities, we will have to do what we need to do.

But it is better for them to lay down their arms and surrender so that they can be transitioned into more productive members of society later on.

Thank you.

Ina Andolong (CNN Philippines): Good morning, Secretary Lorenzana. Will the Task Force Bangon Marawi be tackled ‘yung functions during the Cabinet meeting this afternoon? If so, what will be the first concerns that you will be raising to the President?

SEC. LORENZANA: The… Kung… If it will be mentioned this afternoon during the Cabinet meeting, my first concern is actually the funding. Because as early as now, we would like to procure some — some construction materials like lumber, cement, nails, ‘yung mga yero, to support the civilians who are going back in repairing their homes especially those this outskirt dito. Iyong dito kasi babalik na sila dito. [refers to map]

The massive development here, the construction, will come later because it we have to be — holistic approach ‘yan. They have to bring the building from ground up.

But those with very small or slight damages only, we need these construction materials now, so that once they go up and start rebuilding their homes, then they have something to also use for the repairs of their homes.

Ms. Andolong: Sir, how will the procurement happen po ba? Will it be purchased through funds of concerned government agencies and what projects would need bidding, if meron man po?

SEC. LORENZANA: Well, we are expecting that this will be emergency procurement because of the disasters there. And we will use maybe the martial law as a reason to our emergency purchases. So that we will not go into a long — long, drawn-out bidding.

The precedent kasi kapag ‘yung negotiated bidding, matagal ‘yan eh.  It will take months. And we need this immediately. So hopefully, the government can grant us the emergency mode of procurement.

It will be procured from the fund that will be given by DBM. We will still maybe find out the mechanism of who are going to disburse these funds.

Ms. Andolong: So is it right to say, sir, na ‘yung emergency procurement will be for ‘yung mga damaged houses?


Ms. Andolong: But for the bigger structures, will that also be through emergency procurement? Or wala po bang [inaudible] for bidding, I’m just clarifying?

SEC. LORENZANA: Tingnan natin. It depends on the amount of the buildings that will be put up especially here in the central business districts, dito. We’ll find that out later.
Anyway, it will take time to build these structures, so mas ano ‘yun… Maybe we can follow some of the procedures of the procurement.

But for the houses that were — just like the damaged here, on the other side of the river… This is the Agus River. Nandito. Pwede na siguro ‘yung emergency purchases diyan.

Ms. Andolong: Sir, last na lang sa akin. I believe… Ang sabi po yata, one square kilometer na lang ‘yung focus ‘nung offensives. Nakaumpisa na po ba tayo for damage assessment? Do we have any initial figures?

SEC. LORENZANA: Inumpisahan na, pero hindi pa tayo nakakakuha ng report because medyo pichi-pichi pa lang ‘yung report nila eh.

And we will get the clear picture of the damage here in this central business district once the fighting stops para natin makita lahat. Otherwise, we do not have the real picture.

Alexis Romero (Philippine Star): Secretary Lorenzana, you mentioned mag-uumpisa ‘yung rehab ‘pag na-clear ‘yung area. Meron… Meron bang timeline kung kailan talaga matatapos ‘yung operations?

SEC. LORENZANA: I said a while ago, the people on the ground, they do not want to give timeline now. But they are trying hard to finish it as soon as possible.

Kasi ako nasunog na ako tatlong beses. I keep putting deadlines three times I was — nakuryente na ako kaya ayaw ko na ring magsabi.

Because really, if you put a timeline on this kind of problem, all the enemies has to do is to hold out for a couple of days, nasira na ‘yung timeline mo. Napahiya ka na naman.

This is different from other projects that we have, like construction project in the government na meron kang ano — mako-compute mo eh.

But this kind of problem is very difficult. And since it is urban fighting, which a lot of our troops there are not prepared, medyo… They are learning as they go along on how to fight in this built-up area.

Kaya ‘yun ang nakatagal talaga diyan sa problema. So we are not going to put any deadline.

Mr. Romero: Kasi nabanggit ni Presidente the  next few days daw matatapos.

SEC. LORENZANA: Yeah, ako din noon sabi ko three days din pero wala ding nangyari.

Alam niyo, every time our people will be aggressive, namamatayan tayo eh. We had our latest casualty, Resty, three days ago ‘di ba?


SEC. LORENZANA: Or two days ago?

BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Three days ago…

SEC. LORENZANA: Three days ago nagkaroon na naman tayo ng casualty because ‘yung mga tropa natin, they are so aggressive to finish the job. Mahirap din ito eh. Mahirap din ito.

If I were there, I would like the job to be finished immediately. Kaya lang, the enemy is also very wily and very resourceful.

The latest battalion that was brought here in the 10th IB, ang ginawa nila they were able to go, go, go without knowing that the houses that they have left behind ay meron pang mga laman tapos pagtalikod nila, binaril sila sa likod. So nagkaroon na naman tayo ng casualty.

So they have to go back and clear again the houses. So napakalaki ang challenge dito. And so we have also to give maybe leeway to our troops to do what they want to do there.

We do not want to… I do not want to micromanage this. I’ll just let the commanders on the ground decide what to do. They know what they are doing.

Mr. Romero: Thank you, Secretary.

Rosalie Coz (UNTV): Hi, sir. Good morning, sir. Sir, doon po sa 336 militants killed, meron po ba tayong significant findings sa mga identification ng foreign terrorists na napaslang? Kung may update po tayo sa kanilang iden… pagkakakilanlan, sir?

SEC. LORENZANA: ‘Yung una pa lang eh, ‘yung first week lang ‘yung meron tayong walo na alam nating namatay na foreign terrorists. May Saudi, merong Indian, merong Chechen, Malaysian and Indonesian.

Other than that, wala tayo kasi lahat ng napapatay na mga sundalo natin were killed by snipers and we have no way of recovering their bodies to find out if they are really foreigners or not.

Ms. Coz: How about, sir, doon po sa updated na bilang po ng mga naaresto under martial law? Iyon po bang former mayor ng Marawi City, maituturing na po natin na highest ranking official na supporter po ng mga terrorist or meron pa po tayong ibang binabantayan?

SEC. LORENZANA: Iyon pa lang ngayon ang nahuli natin na si Pre Salic, who was captured somewhere there in Cagayan de Oro.

In fact, he was actually traveling from Manila towards Cagayan de Oro when he was captured along the way. Siya pa lang.

The brother, solitary, is still at large. I’ve been… There are people who are talking to me na kilala siya that they would like to make — kausapin niya ako. Sabi ko, sumurrender muna siya. But he is not surrendering.

In fact, he wrote a very good column in one of the newspapers last week about the problem there. He’s a very learned person and I would like to talk to him also pero sumurrender muna siya kasi kasama siya doon sa mga identified na supporter ng mga Maute Romato clan.

Ms. Coz: Pero, sir, since nabanggit ng Pangulo na dapat makipag-ugnayan muna sa inyo, ayaw niyang makipag-usap. Since then, hindi na po siya tumawag?

SEC. LORENZANA: Hindi na. Hindi na. Wala ng contact sa intermediaries namin. And maybe I will reactivate these intermediaries so that we could talk to him also.

Ms. Coz: Sir, doon po sa less than 200 na nasa listahan po nung mga aarestuhin, may bilang po kayo kung ilan na po ang naaresto?

SEC. LORENZANA: Ang naaresto lang, the latest I got was only 16. Sixteen pa lang and mostly they are members of the Maute family.

Ms. Coz: Pero, sir, na-countercheck po ba natin doon sa mga casualties ‘yung mga militants na napatay kung nandoon po ‘yung mga pangalan?

SEC. LORENZANA: No. We do not have any way of counterchecking eh.

Ms. Coz: Thank you, sir.

Benjie Liwanag (DZBB): Good morning, sir. Sir, I have three concerns. Number one is the assessment. Ongoing na ho ba ‘yung assessment ngayon kasi may mga cleared areas na po sa Marawi? At tsaka po, sino po ang gagawa ng assessment? Will it be the NDRRMC or the local government?

SEC. LORENZANA: It will be… We have tasked the engineering brigade to make the assessment.

So we already… I think they have already started assessing these fringes na ‘yan na wala namang — hindi naman nagkaroon ng labanan dito.

Kasi, I, for one, pagka wala nang putukan diyan, pauunahin ko nang bumalik sa mga bahay nila itong mga nasa paligid. These are the people who are really wanting to go.

I received a lot of communications from people whose houses are far from the fighting, kung pwede nang bumalik na sila dito.

Na ayaw lang namin silang pabalikin kasi baka magkaroon ng mga misencounter diyan sa mga — gabi, especially at night.

Kailangan tapusin muna natin ‘yung putukan dito. There should be no firing here or conflict before we can allow people to come so to avoid any misencounter or any collateral damages of civilians.

Mr. Liwanag: Okay. Sir, last week, may mga nakuhang passports from — ‘yung Indonesian passports. Na-verify na ho ba ito? Have you coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration?  Hawak na po ba ninyo ‘yung…?

SEC. LORENZANA: Yeah, we are. And we have also… Itinimbre na rin namin sa mga countries nila, mga Indonesian ano — so that they can also trace ‘yung origins nila sa kabila.

Mr. Liwanag: Any information, sir?

SEC. LORENZANA: Wala pa. We are still waiting for information.

Mr. Liwanag: Okay. ‘Yung third, may mga lumalabas na mga selfie ng mga Maute. Ang gaganda ho ng mga pictures nila at video. Ano po ang take ninyo dito, Secretary?

SEC. LORENZANA: Sa totoo lang, talagang mga magaganda naman silang mga tao eh.

Anyway, mga selfie nila, well, anybody can have a selfie. Meaning, alam mo, this is part of their propaganda also to show to the world that they are still around and hindi pa sila nauubos at tsaka handa pa rin silang lumaban. 

Mr. Liwanag:  Thank you very much.

SEC. LORENZANA: Correction pala doon sa arrested. I stand corrected ano. Hindi lang 16, 16 pala mga matagal na ‘yun. 66 pala ‘yung arrested, 66. So kulang ako ng 50.

Ian Cruz (GMA): Secretary, good morning po.

SEC. LORENZANA: Yes. Good morning.

Mr. Cruz: Follow up po doon kay Ace kanina. Nasabi niyo po na hindi kayo nagbibigay na ng new timeline para doon sa pagtatapos ‘nong bakbakan. Pero magso-SONA po ang Pangulo, ikalawang SONA niya. During SONA time po ba eh may bakbakan pa rin sa assessment niyo?

SEC. LORENZANA: It is my hope that wala ng bakbakan. Wala na sana. Kasi we’d like to also to ano para naman hindi mahirapan si Presidente sa SONA niya na nagsasalita siya doon sa Congress, eh meron pang bakbakan. Sana tapos na.

And that is one of the things that I have asked the commanders on the ground, that if they could terminate the conflict there before the President goes on his SONA.

Mr. Cruz: Sabi niyo po ‘yun ang instruction niyo sa ground ano. Bakit napaka-importante na wala ng bakbakan during SONA time?

SEC. LORENZANA: Well, so that, for one, the President can also announce the rehabilitation program, ano ng ano — kung nakabalik na ba ‘yung mga civilian, which is very important.

Now, I’ve seen the faces of those evacuees in Iligan and talagang makita mo ‘yung kuwan nila eh, they’re so frustrated and so anxious to go back home.

Ito ‘yung nakita rin ni Presidente noong nandoon kami at sinasabi niya kung — naaawa din sila sa mga evacuees.

And we’d like the President, when he goes there and delivers his SONA, is that ongoing na ‘yung ating rehab, at tsaka maybe most of the people in these outskirts dito ay nakabalik na sa bahay nila.

Mr. Cruz: Sir, ‘yung kay Hapilon, kay IH ang sabi niyo, nakita ng intel niyo ‘yung ibang mga tropa nila na napunta na sa Basilan. How sure naman ‘yung intel natin na hindi niya na-miss ‘yung pagpunta doon ni Hapilon?

SEC. LORENZANA: ‘Yung intel kasi natin is not the military, it’s actually the civilians. And, you know, ka-tribo din nila eh. Because Hapilon is very lucrative target din ‘yan eh.

The Basilan people there the Yakans know that there is a five million price on the head of Hapilon. And it’s very tempting for them also to give us accurate report on his whereabouts so that they will also, maybe get some of the money.

Glenn Parungao (Brigada News FM): Secretary tungkol po doon sa BJMP Director Serafin na may threat po ng rescue operation ng Maute group kay Cayamora at Farjana ng Maute sa BJMP. Ano pong mga magiging tugon natin doon, sir, and may balak po kayang ilipat pa sa isang mas secured na detention facility?

SEC. LORENZANA: Hindi na siguro dahil wala naman kaming paglilipatan sa mga ‘yan eh.

All we have to do is maybe reinforce them with some of our troops para hindi nila ma-attack ‘yung BJMP diyan sa Taguig.

This happens a lot of times. It happened when I was with the brigade commander in Gen San, inatake nila ‘yung city jail. Kidapawan, lately inatake na naman nila.

So it’s very possible. Talagang malaki ang probability diyan na you will try to spring them out of prison.

So we will… Kung kailangan ng BJMP ng tulong from the AFP, then we are ready to support them with some additional troops.

Catherine Valente (Manila Times): Good morning, sir. Sir, the Supreme Court is set to decide tomorrow po on the petitions on martial law declaration. Is the government or is the military or the Palace confident that the Supreme Court will rule martial law as constitutional?

SEC. LORENZANA: I, for one, is very confident that the Supreme Court will rule on the legality of the martial law kasi nakita ko naman eh.

I was there, I briefed them, I and General Año briefed them, briefed the Supreme Court en banc.

And ang kanilang tinitingnan naman eh the factual basis, kung talagang merong basis.

And I believe we have sufficiently or competently answered all the questions on the basis of martial law.

And, yeah, tomorrow is the day that they are going to promulgate the ruling. I look forward to seeing that they will say that this is legal for the President to declare martial law in the first place.


BRIG. GEN. PADILLA: Thank you, sir. Sir, in consonance with the approval of the order that was cited by the Secretary, I would just like to provide you an update on concrete steps being taken on the ground.

So based on the report of Brigadier General Rey, who is the head of the Joint Task Group Ranao.

So while the battle for the remaining pockets of Marawi remain, the Armed Forces of the Philippine knows that the bigger task for the post-hostilities period should be started early or already.

Hence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Joint Task Group Ranao has been quietly working with the LGUs, both the provincial and municipal, and other agencies of government who have a stake in the effort.

This is why last Saturday, the Joint Task Group Ranao took part in a very important workshop where decisions on the selection of the temporary settlement area was made, the designated area selected was also approved by the national, and it was loaned by a private individual pro bono.

So doon ilalagay po ‘yung temporary resettlement area at magsisimula po ang ground works itong linggong ito.

So ito po’y malayo sa conflict area at doon po ilalagay lahat ng mga residente po na nawalan po ng mga tirahan.

At ang kanila pong napagkasunduan dito ay ang kanila pong magiging construction design para sa settlement area or temporary resettlement area ay with due regard to the cultural sensitivities of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and their families.

It was also noted that there was alignment of the organizational approach between the national and local, at ang organizational approach po nila dito ay along the cluster system.

So meron pong itinalaga na in charge sa mga security and peace, sa health and welfare, along the lines na sinusunod natin sa NDRRMC.

At tulad nga po ng nabanggit, ‘yung lugar po na pinili ay approved na rin sa level ni Usec Jalad na siyang itinalaga po ni Secretary Lorenzana na mag-lead dito sa ground effort.

Ito po ‘yung mga bahagi ng mga naging development nitong mga nakaraan. And present during the workshop regarding the early recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi City, other than local officials, was also Executive Director Diosita Andot of OPAPP, the City Mayor himself, Atty. Majul Gandamra, and other provincial officials who were present.

So the bottom line here is that, maganda po ‘yung naging — nangyari sa workshop at lumalabas doon na maski ‘yung mga magpaplano ng pagbangon ng Marawi ay sila rin po ay mga biktima.

At lahat sila, dahil biktima, may stake po sila sa ginagawa nila kaya maganda po ang naging tulung-tulong na gawain dito.

So it showed the capacity of the Filipinos in that area, being resilient, the capacity to work together and the ability to hand-in-hand bring back Marawi again in the future by all these efforts.

So there was consensus that united they will stand to bring back Marawi to its feet, as soon as hostilities end.

So ‘yun lang po.

SEC. LORENZANA: Padagdag lang doon sa sinabi ni ano ‘no.

By the way, ever since about two weeks ago, we have instituted some controls on people getting inside Marawi.

Lahat ng gustong pumunta rito, all those NGOs or any organization that would like to go there, dito muna sila sa Marawi. They have to clear it with General Rey and we only choose people who can go up.

The reason being, we don’t want a lot of people there roaming around in Marawi while the firing — the shooting is still going on.

And later on siguro when the rehabilitation starts also, we will also control people going in. So that only legitimate — ‘yung may mga gagawin lang sa loob ang nandoon sa loob.

So we will put some checkpoints dito, papunta Tagoloan, punta ng Malabang dito, and from the other side is from Butig checkpoints so that hindi lang lahat-lahat nakakapasok.

We do not want unwanted people to be here roaming around taking pictures and then reporting na hindi naman dapat i-report sa labas.

Although we will not control news, we would like also to see to it that only those news that should be published are getting out na hindi naman masyadong derogatory sa mga nangyayari sa loob.

So those are the changes that we are going to institute, henceforth, henceforth, since about two weeks ago.

Mr. Liwanag: Secretary, how would you assure na hindi mapo-politika ‘yung rehabilitation, at tsaka hindi mapo-politika itong hakbang pa ng gobyerno?

SEC. LORENZANA: Kaya siguro ako ang inutusan ni Presidente dahil wala naman akong political ambition.

Para naman it will be… I will involve the politicians sa loob ano, especially the Mayor dito, Mayor ng Marawi si Mayor Majul, also the Governor and the Vice Governor, at tsaka ‘yung mga towns dito sa Piagapo, lahat. They will be involved.

But the decision will be resting on the chairman of the rehabilitation which is me.

Mr. Liwanag: Thank you very much.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON: In conclusion, we just like to add.

On the joint Philippine-Indonesia patrol of the Celebes Sea, a coordinated joint patrol between the Philippines and Indonesia will start this week at Celebes.

This activity is aimed at strengthening the security of the two countries, especially between their common borders.

Likewise, we aim to improve the interoperability of our forces with the sharing of information and exchange of best practices.

Lastly, an update on the donations.

As of 10 o’clock this morning, the donations given through Land Bank for military casualties is P2,686,870.98. And for Marawi internally displaced persons P616,530.71. The source is the AFP.

End of presentation. Thank you. Good morning.

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