02 June 2017

Martial Law’s First General Order Released
Malacanan on Thursday issued General Order No. 1, which put into effect Proclamation No. 216 or the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. 

Signed by President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Roa Duterte on May 30, 2017, the General Order directed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to fully implement martial law in the region within a period not exceeding sixty (60) days unless extended by Congress, as prescribed by the Constitution.  It likewise suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus for a period not exceeding sixty (60) days. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was designated as the administrator of martial law in Mindanao, while AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano was the implementor.

Section 3 of the Order stated the scope and authority of the AFP to “undertake all measures to prevent and suppress all acts of rebellion and lawless violence in the whole of Mindanao.” 

As stated in Section 4, a state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution or the function of the civil courts. Also, it stated any person arrested or detained by virtue of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus should be released if the person is not charged within three (3) days.

“(T)he constitutional rights of the Filipino people shall be respected and protected at all times,” Section 5 reads.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was enjoined to aid the Executive Branch in ensuring the continued protection of the constitutional and human rights of the people.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Education (DepEd), and Department of Health (DOH) were tasked to exert all efforts to ensure the safety and welfare of all displaced persons and families. 

All other government agencies were directed to provide full support and cooperation to attain the objectives of the Order.

Meanwhile, media practitioners are especially requested to exercise prudence in the performance of their duties so as not to compromise the security and safety of the AFP in carrying out their duties and functions, added General Order No. 1. ### PCO-Content

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the Resorts World Manila incident
Authorities are looking at this as an isolated incident involving robbery.

The suspect, the lone gunman, is now dead.

We advise our people to refrain from going to the area or its vicinity. Injured persons are still being evacuated from an earlier stampede.

The safety and security of everyone is our primary concern.

Injured customers of the Resorts World Manila are now being treated by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and at nearby medical facilities.

Police and Special Action Force (SAF) troopers are conducting room-to-room clearing to make sure that all personalities inside the building are rescued and accounted for.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the Resorts World Manila victims
The Palace wishes to express its deep condolences to the families and friends of the victims of the Resorts World Manila’s latest incident.

This is a reminder that civilized society has no place for this kind of violence. Thus, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has put the campaign against criminality as a centerpiece program of his administration.

The safety of citizens and the security of communities are our primordial concerns, and we hope to seek everybody’s cooperation to achieve a peaceful and fear-free environment.

AFP: Commensurate military power being used in Marawi
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday assured that government forces continue to apply commensurate military power on existing threats and pockets of resistance in Marawi, including the use of airstrike.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Friday, June 2, Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the AFP is determined to clear Marawi of armed elements.

“Even if they want to keep this fight up to the end of this month, or this week, or whatever, we are determined to take care of all these forces that have brought and disturbed the peace, brought violence and disturbed the peace to the peace-loving community of Marawi,” Padilla said.

“The current focus of operation of our military forces remains to be the clearing of Marawi from armed elements that have still holed up in the area; the continued rescue operations for trapped residents; the continued recovery of civilian victims and potential casualties who have been victimized from atrocities from the armed elements; and the continued assistance that we can provide to the LGUs, the NGOs, CSOs who are conducting white helmet or relief operations,” he said.

“Continued efforts also are being exerted in our collaboration and coordination with other concerned agencies to ascertain the status of victims whose families continue to ask for assistance on their whereabouts, as well as those of the hostages that are known to us,” he added.

Padilla also called on the terrorists to surrender to the government or face the consequences.

“Kami po ay nanawagan na sana this armed bandits will come to their senses, surrender or face the dire consequences of military action and that means sure death,” he said.

In the same briefing, Government of the Philippines Peace Implementing Panel chairperson Irene Morada Santiago said that the peace corridor has been set up by a composite team of the AFP, PNP, and MILF.

The peace corridor is a safe and secure corridor for women, men, and children fleeing the crisis in Marawi, as well as a reliable space for humanitarian assistance to pass through.

Santiago said there are more than 300 trained members of the joint peace and security teams that are being deployed throughout the length of the corridor and will be augmented as the need arises.

Santiago also said the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) is finalizing the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is expected to be submitted to Congress by President Rodrigo Duterte in the middle of June.

Santiago said that the BTC is currently holding plenary sessions in Davao to finalize the draft law.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Police Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said that NCR remains terrorist-free.

“Generally, Metro Manila, we enjoy peace and order ‘no. Maganda ‘yung prevailing peace and order dito sa Metro Manila… We have not monitored any threat on terrorism dito sa Metro Manila,” Albayalde said.

He however said the PNP, especially the NCRPO, remains on full alert status.

“While wala naman tayong namomonitor na threat ‘no, hindi naman din talaga tayo pwede mag-relax ‘no. Our intelligence community is in constant monitoring of the possible na mga threat groups who could be possibly here in Metro Manila, although wala tayong namomonitor na ganon,” he said.

In the same briefing, meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that initial findings on the Resorts World incident indicate that it is not connected to a terrorist activity or in the Marawi crisis.

“All indications point to a criminal act by an apparently emotionally disturbed individual. Although the perpetrator gave warning shots, there apparently was no indication that he wanted to harm or shoot anyone,” Abella said.

“The situation in Marawi is no longer considered a law enforcement situation but a matter of national security. And this includes taking care of the process with the MI, MN, pursuing the peace talks with CNN, which will be addressed with undistracted force the AFP, PNP elements should they refuse to pursue the talks; and also, fourthly pursuing development of Mindanao,” Abella said. ###PND

President Duterte to soldiers: We will win vs extremism
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, June 2, expressed confidence that government forces will win in its fight against extremists in Marawi.

The President made the pronouncement as he visited the 102nd Infantry Brigade in Zamboanga Sibugay.

“Dito naman sa extremism, mananalo tayo. But we will have losses, ganon lang talaga ang buhay. That is how life is governed in this universe,” Duterte said in his speech.

“Pero sabihin mo matalo tayo, imposible ‘yan. It will just take a longer period,” he said.

The Chief Executive also said that soldiers will be protected and will have more modern military aircraft, sea vessels and equipment during his time.

“Kung buhayin pa ako ng Panginoon Diyos, you will have about 24 jet planes. Mag-acquire pa ako ng 12. Subukan ko,” Duterte said, adding that instead of secondhand vessels, he will acquire brand new ones.

“Hindi na ako tatanggap ng mga equipment ng military na secondhand… Even I have to spend double the money,” he said. “And you have the best equipment now maski sa Jolo, Cagayan, kinumpleto ko na.”

“You have a new building sa AFP Medical — MRI, baric to fight ‘yang infection. You have all the equipment now and you will have the best of everything,” he added.

Duterte likewise assured support for children of soldiers particularly on their education.

“I have already a part of the funds that will guarantee na ‘yung anak ninyo, edukasyon will continue even if you are somewhere,” the President said, noting that he already has an initial 20 billion of the 50 billion trust fund for the education of the troops’ children.

“If I can have a 50 billion trust fund para lang sa edukasyon ng mga anak ninyo, even if you fight or you are somewhere else in this universe, sagot na ang edukasyon lang ha, sagot na ang edukasyon. So wala kayong problema. I have already the 20 of the 50 billion. Maski interes na ‘yan,” Duterte said.

The President also appealed to the soldiers to stay loyal to the flag and to the Constitution.

“I am not appealing for a personal loyalty. Hindi ko type ‘yung ganon. I just want you to fight for the Republic and maintain your loyalty to the Constitution. Period,” he said.

“During my time, as your President, I can give you only the inspiration and the protection that you would need. And I will attend to your needs and during my time, you will have the best,” he assured.

Following his visit to the 102nd Infantry Brigade, the President then proceeded to visit the wake of Corporal Nilo Donato, Jr., who was killed-in-action in Marawi. ###PND