PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino on Wednesday, May 24, urged the people in the Visayas to rally behind the president in his declaration of Martial Law covering the entire Mindanao, amid clashes between the government troops and the local terror group Maute in Marawi City.

“I asked my fellow Filipinos in the Visayas, let's give President Duterte our full and unbridled support in his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao. Let us set aside politics and for once rally behind the flag as we pray for our troops and policemen who are working hard to maintain peace," he said.

Dino said the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas is closely working with the AFP Central Command, Police Regional Office-Central Visayas, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Industry Authority, and other agencies of government in formulation of a task force that will secure the Visayan seas aimed at preventing terrorists and other criminal elements from entering the central Philippine provinces.

The presidential assistant also said he appeals for sobriety from among the Visayans and avoid posting information on social media that may further exacerbate the situation in Marawi City.

"We should not lower our guard. We must stay calm but vigilant at the same time," he said.

"Let us offer a prayer for our fellow Fililinos in Marawi City and the whole of Mindanao."

Dino said the 1987 Constitution has provided for such power for the president to declare Martial Law as commander-in-chief of all armed forces and when it is necessary to suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.

"Let us trust our President who is a strict father with a kind heart as he builds a nation. Let us allow him to do what is necessary to protect us from terrorism," he said. (PR)