27 May 2017

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – From Malacanan
We stand with Muslim Filipinos in their reverent observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

Together we pray for an end to terrorism that falsely claims to advance Islam and seeks to subjugate our land to the brutal IS.In this spirit of Muslim peace, the President has offered the hand of peaceful dialogue to terrorist groups, to avoid bloodshed in this time of prayer, fasting and mercy.With all faiths, we pray that God restore and preserve peace in Mindanao.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the Mindanao Bishop’s support for Martial Law
Ozamiz City Archibishop Martin Jumoad has expressed support of martial law, saying, “it is vital that government restores peace and order in Lanao del Sur”, risking his popularity in certain quarters. Placing his diocesan’s well being above all else, he also encourages the citizens to be extra careful and to cooperate with the military.We laud the good bishop’s support of the President’s war against violent extremism in Mindanao. We hope his fellow bishops and other clergy follow his example for their parishes, and prioritize the peace and safety of the people.

While he has also said that mechanisms must be in place that prevent and address human rights abuses, AFP Spokesperson RESTY PADILLA has said that such mechanisms are in place, and this will differentiate this military action from the past.

We also call on Muslim leaders to speak out against terrorist groups, who use religion to disguise their barbarity, staining the peaceful name of Islam with the blood of innocents during this holy month of Ramadan.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On Mindanao Bishops and Martial Law
Cardinal Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, in behalf of the bishops of Mindanao, has released a statement that they are not rejecting martial law.They balance this oblique position by encouraging their faithful to “be obedient to the just commands of lawful authority, and not to provoke violent reaction.”
He also said, “We urge the government to remove the causes of terrorism, such as poverty and injustice, through just and accountable governance focused solely on the common good.”The government appreciates support from all sectors, no matter how nuanced.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – Malacanan
We take a moment to remember some of the first casualties in the May 23 attacks in Marawi City; Marawi City Police Senior Inspector and Intelligence Unit Chief Freddie Manuel Solar, from Baguio City, and two members of Special Forces, First Lieutenant John Carl Morales and Special Forces Marlon Baldovino, both of Kabacan, North Cotabato.

May they rest in peace, and may we be faithful to honor the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in the service of their country.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On PRRD’s ‘Command Responsibility’ Speech in Iligan City
First and foremost, the President has the whole nation’s safety and protection in mind. In Iligan, he gave his full support to the men and women in uniform, taking complete responsibility for their actions, even exaggeratedly describing crimes like taking a fourth wife. As Commander-in-Chief he would stand by his personnel and that no one will be abandoned, including the fallen.

PRRD is decisively acting, speaking with heightened bravado, that law and order would be brought back in these areas of rebellion in the soonest time possible and that normalcy would likewise be restored with minimal loss of lives.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the cancellation of the 5th round of peace talks in The Netherlands
From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the cancellation of the 5th round of peace talks in The Netherlands

The government of the Philippines will not proceed with the scheduled 5th round of peace negotiations in The Netherlands.

This decision was reached in the light of the latest public announcement by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to accelerate and intensify its attacks against the government due to the President’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

We question the sincerity of the CPP/NPA/NDFP, if they truly are in pursuit of peaceful coexistence. The Duterte administration would rather pursue the path of genuine dialogue to build a nation worthy of its citizens.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On Marawi Saturday update
Government troops proceed with their sustained precision operations in pursuit of the Maute group who have embedded themselves among innocent citizens .

We call on our patriotic civilians to remain vigilant and cooperate with the military.

Let us be considerate with our Muslim brothers and sisters who have started to observe the Ramadan.

Let us pray for peaceful and swift operations to clear the city of violent extremists (VE), an end to this rebellion and its spread to other areas of Mindanao. Let us pray for unity among Filipinos. All will be well.