THE Supreme Court recently upheld the legality and validity of the state of martial law declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in Mindanao.
Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures.
This might have been the impetus behind the decision of President Duterte to declare martial law not only in Marawi City - where ISIS inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists continue to battle the armed forces of the government - but all throughout Mindanao perhaps to deter further rebellious or terroristic activity in the area.
The Supreme Court might have appreciated the fact that these so called terrorists comprising armed fanatics from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf were not out only cause widespread death and destruction in the city of Marawi but are, for all their planning and forward thinking, actually intending to make that city their permanent base of operations and converting it into a Wilayat or province under the ISIS caliphate.
This is borne out by the fact that those rebels and terrorists who invaded Marawi City were led by one Isnilon Hapilon, a ranking member of the Abu Sayyaf group, who was apparently designated as the Southeast Asia branch leader of the Islamic State being spoused by the ISIS, and that as already being done in the Middle East and other parts of the globe where the ISIS is prevalent, there is the requirement for land and territory wherein to propagate their extreme and brutal kind of ideology and their own radical way and system of governance.
You only need to browse the internet and search for cities and provinces invaded and occupied by ISIS to learn and understand that these rebels and terrorists want nothing more than to inflict their own brand of extremism which seeks the total subjugation of an individual or group and any opposition is answered with torture and death.
Can we consider the Maute and Abu Sayyaf armed combatants that are now fighting against government forces in Marawi City rebels, such that they fall within the definition provided by law? Well Article 134 of the Revised Penal Code as amended shows how rebellion and insurrection are committed and it is stated thus: “The crime of rebellion or insurrection is committed by rising publicly and taking arms against the government for the purpose of removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body of land, naval or other armed forces, or depriving the Chief Executive or the Legislature, wholly or partially, of any of their powers or prerogatives.”
One of the more important aspects in the above definition of rebellion and how it is committed is the phrase “removing from the allegiance to said Government or its laws, the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, of any body of land”. It is quite obvious that the armed rebels and terrorists of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf group want to take away and remove through armed and violent means the allegiance of Marawi City and its inhabitants to the present government and its laws and supplant this with their own brand of extreme religious laws and ideology adopted from the ISIS.
These ISIS inspired rebels and terrorists did not go to Marawi City simply to enjoy the sights or have their vacation. They wanted to stake their claim in that predominantly Muslim enclave and planned to use that as a jump off point to invade other cities and provinces in Mindanao to expand their influence.
Whether politically or religiously motivated to rebel what is clear is that these Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups that invaded Marawi City must not be allowed to establish their own Wilayat or province in Mindanao much less propagate and impose their own brand of religious ideology which is clearly anathema to our democratic system of government.
This is what President Duterte seeks to prevent and avoid and the very reason for his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.