11 June 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On 13 Marines killed in action
The Palace is deeply saddened by the news on the 13 Marines killed in action during a firefight in Marawi City. They fought gallantly for the liberation of our Maranao brothers and sisters.

This incident, albeit unfortunate, gives us greater impetus to clear Marawi of lawless elements, save the trapped civilians, and restore order, security and normalcy to the city and its residents.

Let us continue showing our strong support to our courageous and heroic men and women in uniform fighting for Marawi and defending the Republic.

On the interfaith rally on June 12 calling for the lifting of martial law

Tomorrow’s rally, dubbed “National Day of Prayer and Action for Peace and Human Rights,” at the Andres Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall shows how vibrant democracy is in the Philippines.

As PRRD, quoting a famous line, repeatedly said, “He may not agree with what you say, but he’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

This right includes the right to air people’s grievances, including opposition to the proclamation of martial law in the whole island of Mindanao.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the US presence in Marawi
The United States is assisting the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its operations in Marawi but this is limited to technical assistance.  

We have standing protocols which are already in place under the Mutual Defense Board-Security Engagement Board with the US under the purview of the PH-US Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951.  It does not involve any boots on the ground nor is there any direct participation in combat operations, a matter prohibited by law. 

The fight against terrorism, however, is not only the concern of the Philippines or the United States but it is a concern of many nations around the world. The Philippines is open to assistance from other countries if they offer it.