PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has submitted to Congress an official report to substantiate his decision to declare martial law in Mindanao.
Malacañang released Friday afternoon a copy of the report, which was signed by the President Friday night and briefly received by Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
The President said that Mindanao "has been the hotbed of violent extremism and a brewing rebellion for decades."
He stressed that the lawless acts perpetrated by terrorist groups Abu Sayyaf and Maute have derailed the government's aim to achieve peace and order in the region.
"In more recent years, we have witnessed the perpetration of numerous acts of violence challenging the authority of the duly constituted authorities," Duterte said in his report.
The President cited that Zamboanga siege; the Mamasapano carnage; and the bombings in Davao, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu and Basilan as among the unacceptable eventualities of terror attacks.
He further said that the May 23 attack in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, signified the groups' "clear intention to establish an Islamic State and their capability to deprive the duly constituted authorities -- the President foremost -- of their powers and prerogatives."
"These activities constitute not simply a display of force, but a clear attempt to establish the groups' seat of power in Marawi City for their planned establishment of a DAESH wilayat or province covering the entire Mindanao," he said.
The bandit group reportedly took over and burned several establishments in the city. They purportedly freed inmates and attacked non-Muslims.
Military operations against the rebels remain ongoing. Around 11 members of government forces were reportedly killed while 35 others were injured.
The Chief Executive said the terrorists' occupation of Marawi City is their "strategic" move because the area has served as "escape routes, supply lines, and backdoor passages."
He said public safety necessitates the continued implementation of one-man rule in Mindanao "until such time that the rebellion is completely quelled."
"These circumstances demand swift and decisive action to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino people and preserve our national integrity," said Duterte.
Section 18, Article 7 of the Constitution allows a Philippine president to declare Martial law for 60 days in the face or invasion or rebellion.
Upon the President's submission of report on declaration of martial law, Congress will decide whether to approve or revoke the proclamation. (SunStar Philippines)