ASIDE from the Maute terror group, there are 20 other cell groups in Mindanao that had pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis), Solicitor General Jose Calida bared in his 84-page memorandum submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday.
The memorandum filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is in relation to the petitions filed against President Rodrigo Duterte's Proclamation 216 that had placed the entire Mindanao under martial law.
"In addition to Isis-linked local rebel groups, there are also Isis cell groups that operate all over Mindanao. These cell groups conduct coordinated attacks with the aforesaid rebel groups," Calida said.
Included in these cell groups are:
1. Ansar Dawiah Fi Filibbin
2. Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement
3. Al Harakatul Islamiyah Battalion
4. Jama'at Ansar Khilafa
5. Ansharul Khilafah Philippines Battalion
6. Bangsamoro Justice Movement
7. Khilafah Islamiya Mindanao
8. Abu Sayyaf Group (Sulu faction)
9. Syuful Khilafa Fi Luzon
10. Ma'rakah Al-Ansar Battalion
11. Dawla Islamiyyah Cotabato
12. Dawlat Al Islamiyah Waliyatul Masrik
13. Ansar Al-Shariyah Battalion
14. Jamaah al-Tawhid wal Jihad Philippines
15. Abu Dujanah Battalion
16. Abu Khubayn Battalion
17. Jundallah Battalion
18. Abu Sadr Battalion
19. Jamaah Al Muhajirin wal Anshor
20. Balik-Islam Group
The OSG claimed that these groups have conducted violent activities, particularly in Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga and Davao.
Calida reiterated that the proclamation has enough factual bases.
He also said the President's claim that there is an ongoing rebellion in Marawi perpetrated by the Maute group and other lawless armed men.
Calida said petitioners failed to establish that the President acted with grave abuse of discretion in declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.
Petitioners include the group of opposition lawmakers led by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and the Mindanaoan leaders represented by the National Union of the People's Lawyers, and four Marawi residents.
Petitioners claimed that the acts of the Maute group, including the torching of buildings in Marawi and the hoisting of Isis flags, could not be defined as rebellion.
The Supreme Court (SC), acting on the petitions, held oral arguments last June 13 to June 15.
The SC has yet to decide whether it will uphold or revoke the supposed 60-day order of the President. (SunStar Philippines)