In a speech at the 140thfounding anniversary of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc., President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not have declared martial law if terrorist were the only ones who attacked Marawi City.
President Duterte said he had to sign Proclamation No. 216 declaring martial law in Mindanao while he was on an official trip in Russia after being the situation in Marawi City was critical.
“Nung sinabi sa akin ng mga military kasama ko na the situation is critical because they were attacking also civilians, I had to sign a declaration dated on the day but I signed it in Moscov – singed in Moscov Russia. So that was the truth, I was there. But I sent the electronic copy of my declaration forthwith, so napadala ko,” The President said.
Duterte said he was alarmed when the presence of foreign fighters in Marawi City was confirmed.
“Marawi was attacked by the ISIS together with the terrorists, mostly foreigners yung nasa forefront and they were the kuwaitis who were – parang puti yan eh.” Duterte said.
“Nung sabi ko ilan? Sabi ko, ito nay un kay kung terorista lang na local, I wouldn’t have declared martial law, but since they were already coming here because of their dream to establish a caliphate, a kingdom in Southeast Asia, sabi ko, Delikado ito,” The President added.
Duterte vowed to solve “all the problems that ails Mindanao” during the length of martial law there. But doubts have also been raised on whether state actors can suppress Maute or the ISIS threat within 60 days.