Mindanao Hour Briefing by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella with Marie Peña – Ruiz
Radyo ng Bayan
10 June 2017
Ms. Ruiz: Magandang umaga, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Magandang umaga din sa’yo, Marie. Kumusta kayo diyan?

Ms. Ruiz: Sir?


Ms. Ruiz: Good morning, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Oo, good morning po. Kamusta kayo?

Ms. Ruiz: Mabuti po. Hope you’re fine too, sir.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: We’re very fine, oo. Ituloy na po natin.

Ms. Ruiz: Okay sir, ‘yung mga opening statement niyo po.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Opo. Ito po ang updated report on military action in Marawi as of 6 pm of June 2017, kagabi po ito.

Ang ano po, ang civilians killed by local terrorist group has been 21; and ang mga civilians rescued po ay 1,599. Ang enemy killed po ay 138 at ang recovered firearms ay 153.

Ang focus po ng ating military operations remains to be as follows:

  1. Continued clearing of Marawi of terrorists, armed elements in the area;
  2. Continued rescue of trapped residents;
  3. Continued recovery of civilian casualties and victims;
  4. The assistance — to assist the LGUs, CSOs, NGOs on relief operations.

Ang mga significant developments po as of today — as of yesterday ay:

  1. Troops continue to gain more foot hold into the inner areas of the city;
  2. The enemy resistance is dwindling day by day, humihina po ang kanilang resistance;
  3. The clearing of areas by sector is progressing positively;
  4. Ang mga compounding elements po ay patuloy pa rin ang paggamit nila ng civilians as human shields at tsaka po ng mga madrasah o mga mosque na ginagamit — na nagamit as staging areas and safe havens;
  5. Apparently, may discovery po ng tunnels, which may be possibly part of a network which may have been utilized.

On the other hand po, kausap ko po si Secretary of National Defense kanina, ang talaga pong nakita nila mainly are holes connecting buildings.

Ngayon po, General Eduardo Año, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the implementor of the martial law in Mindanao, reiterates his continuing guidance to put premium on civilian lives, respect for civilian properties during clearing operations; and complete discipline among our men in uniform conducting military activities in the area. He is also looking forward to more cleared areas in the next few days.

Also, ang pangunahing concern po, what you call the primordial concern of the ground commanders.

Ang unang-una po, our forces will continue to carry out military operations to ensure that we save lives through expeditious military action. Ang pangunahing concern po nila ay makapagligtas ng mga — ng tao at buhay.

Si General Año rin po, citing a captured video, explained that the terrorists had plans to seize Marawi and to proclaim it a caliphate on the first day of Ramadan as ISIS did in 2014.

If things went according to their plans, they would then attack Campo Ranao.

Then if things went as they planned, they would rally local Muslims. And if things went as they planned, they would kill as many non-Muslims as they could to prove that they could establish an Islamic State in Asia.

Ang mga plano po ng Maute terrorist group was truly horrifying and gruesome in intention, especially against the peaceful citizens of Marawi.

Kaya po we are deeply grateful for the early discovery and the actions taken by the military and the President against their plans.

And we assure the people that their government will do everything to ensure normalcy and to deliver services to support the people’s aspirations for a comfortable life.

In this connection po, I would like to make the announcement regarding “Bangon Marawi.”

The EO for “Bangon Marawi” is awaiting PRRD’s signature.

According to Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, ‘yung proposal po of the DND-led recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation program for Marawi, or it’s called “Bangon Marawi” is already with the Office of the Executive Secretary awaiting submission to the President.

The proposed package amounting to P10 billion as surmised by the President will be a multi-agency effort including DTI, DepEd, DSWD, DPWH, DOE, DICT, among others.

In conjunction po ito sa Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster po. It should take a minimum of six months and may begin after clearing the city, which should take about at least one to two weeks.

“Bangon Marawi” will be undertaken by the Engineering Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the auspices to be named Undersecretary with the expressed purpose of bringing back residents and normal everyday life as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Central Business District, according to Secretary Lorenzana, will have to undergo more detailed clearing in order to ensure citizens’ safety.

We assure you that the President is deeply concerned for the city, the region and the island’s well being and is very hands-on to ensure that normalcy will be restored at the soonest possible time and serve people’s aspirations for a comfortable life for all.

Maliban po diyan, we’d just like to refer to certain related matters.

Regarding po si — regarding po nung ano, nung kamakailan po, nagbitaw po ang UK envoy at nagsalita po siya sa mga journalists nung Wednesday.

Sabi po ni Ambassador Asif Ahmad, sabi po niya,

“I don’t think there is something intrinsically wrong with declaring martial law or declaring state of calamity or state of emergency.

It is how you use those facilities constitutionally to be held accountable and bring the situation under control.”

We appreciate ‘yung statement po ng Ambassador to support the Constitutional implementation of martial law and military action to suppress violence and impose control and security.

Hindi na po nagtagal, nung September, sinabi po niya at binanggit niya na meron daw “cult of death” amid anti-drug killings at nung February, sabi rin niya na “Change has come, but not in a good way.”

Pero ngayon po, we welcome ‘yung kanyang suporta. Siguro po dahilan sa mga panibagong mga attacks sa Britain. 

So, coming from us po, both the Philippines and the United Kingdom had suffered immensely from recent terrorist attacks and we reiterate our sympathy and solidarity with the victims in the Manchester and London atrocities and we stand with the UK and the entire civilized world against this threat masquerading as religious war.

There is nothing godly po patungkol sa ISIS at ang kanyang cohorts sa Europe and Asia. But with unity and resolve, the nations of the world will crush this scourge.

Pangalawa rin po, patungkol sa… ‘yung statement ng ano… apparently contradictory statement ng Speaker na sabi po niya ay… there would be a Constitutional crisis… sabi niya na ide-defy niya ang SC, there would be a Constitutional crisis.

Tayo po, we defer to the other co-equal branches of government involved in the petition. We will reserve comment on this matter, except to repeat the President’s statement yesterday that he will follow the Supreme Court’s decision. 

As always po, we stand ready to provide information to the High Court – as we did for Congress on the factual basis for martial law and writ suspension which were deemed necessary to combat and neutralize the threat to public safety and national security posed by terrorists seeking to supplant government authority in Marawi at the instigation and with support from a brutal foreign entity, ISIS. 

Inaantay po natin — we await the Supreme Court’s decision, and we stand ready to comply with it in full. 

Ang isa po sigurong dapat na makita natin is that in spite of the Marawi conflict which has overshadowed the other big story na nag-iimpact po sa bayan, ito po ang patuloy na pag-usad ng ating ekonomiya, the continued surge of the economy.

There’s a recent World Bank forecast of nearly 7 percent annual growth until 2020, setting the pace for the fastest-growing region in the world. 

And just this week alone, there’s even more [unclear] news, okay. Spending data and dropping unemployment point to faster growth in the second quarter. ‘Yung economic pace po should pick up even more with the Philippine Development Plan and the public investment plan now promulgated by the new Executive Order just signed by the President. 

At napag-ano po niya ang — The President has also tasked Cabinet Secretary Evasco to monitor and push infra projects. Ito po, this will speed up not just projects funded by tax reforms from Congress, but also tens of billions of dollars of investments coming from China, Japan, and other nations. 

Tingnan po natin. Let us look at the real picture behind all of these things. Tuloy-tuloy po ang pag-usad ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas. We are looking forward to a bright future.

And that is why we look — we continue to — we encourage the Filipinos to rally behind. Magkaisa po tayo. It should be the time to set aside petty politics and ‘yung mga personal ano po, agenda. 

Minsan po… There are some personalities out there who take advantage of the situation and to try to bring in their own… their own opinions, which tend to derail actual, you know, derail the unity which is coming together.

Of course, every death is unfortunate. However, we also encourage that each one of us should try to really come together to build a united Philippines. 

Lastly, we would like to just make mention of the current status of Farhana Maute. She is now under the custody of Chief Superintendent Reuben Sindac of PNP-ARMM. 

‘Yun lang po, end of statement for Saturday. We may be open for one or two questions. Thank you. 


Ms. Ruiz: Sir, may tanong lang po si Leila Salaverria. On… ‘Yung sa ano na lang po. ‘Yung sa naging opening statement niyo on the “Bangon Marawi.” Why was the DND chosen to spearhead the reconstruction and rehabilitation po?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Basically po because of their ano, ‘yung kanila pong engineering battalion. Because ‘yung kanilang engineering battalion may be readily ano po, may be readily dispersed in order to implement whatever plans that the other agencies may have — may have agreed — may agree upon. 

Of course, they will be working very closely with NDR Risk Reduction Management. But basically po because they have the wherewithal in order to implement the rehabilitation plan, which the President wants to be done as soon as possible. 

Ms. Ruiz: Sir, dun sa pag-arrest doon sa kay [Farhana] Maute. What the authorities know of her plans and what is her suspected role in the rebellion? And para po naman sa Malacanang, do you think her arrest will further weaken itong mga terorista po?

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Regarding po the details — regarding the details of the arrest and how it’s going to progress, we’ll have to leave that to the national police po ano.

And regarding the arrest of the matriarch, we believe that this is an important development and, especially in the matters regarding the Maute terrorist groups

Ms. Ruiz: Okay, sir. Thank you very much for your statements for today. Maraming salamat po for taking our questions. 


Ms. Ruiz: Happy Independence Day on Monday.

PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABELLA: Opo. What we’d like you to announce is that on please — we’re going to have a — there’s going to be a — please watch out for a release on Monday, June 12.

We may — there’s a planned release of a communications project meant to honor po those who have helped and those who have lost their lives in the Marawi incident. Sige po. Thank you very much.