There might be a repeat of Marawi siege in Philippines, says Defense Secretary

ICC Note: In response to the Martial law in Mindanao declared and extended in 2017 because of clashes in Marawi City between the military and armed groups linked with the international terrorist network Islamic State, petitioners in Philippines have made two attempts asking the Supreme Court to stop the extension of martial law in Mindanao, which would last until end of 2018. However, the Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana argues recently that there is “continuing rebellion” and another urban warfare similar to Marawi siege could happen in another city. 

01/08/2018 Philippines (Rappler) – Talking before the elite units of the Philippine Army on Monday, January 8, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana ordered the troops to prepare for a repeat of the Marawi siege in “another city” in the Philippines.

Lorenzana made the statement in the wake of petitions asking the Supreme Court to stop the extension of martial law in Mindanao. Petitioners are saying the basis for the declaration last year – the 5-month-long Marawi siege – is over and there is no “actual rebellion” anymore.

Congress has granted the request of President Rodrigo Duterte to extend martial law until end-December 2018.

But Lorenzana argued there is a “continuing rebellion” that could trigger another urban warfare in another city in the Philippines. He said the armed forces are preparing to defend the extension of martial before the Supreme Court.

“It started in May and continued until October. It is the belief of the armed forces and the police that there is continuing reorganization of the rebellious forces. They would again conduct a Marawi-type operations sometime in the future. I also believe in that,” Lorenzana said.

“We are preparing our briefing to the Supreme Court. If and when the Supreme Court calls us to give a briefing on the extension of martial law, we will be going there with the Solicitor General and other lawyers,” Lorenzana said.

 

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