MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to declare martial law in Mindanao as military units clash with Maute Group members in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur can help in resolving the ongoing security issues in the region.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana made the statement during a press briefing in Moscow, Russia aired on PTV 4 late on Tuesday.
In justifying the Chief Executive’s decision, he said that there are security problems in Zamboanga, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Central Mindanao which includes insurgency and terrorism.
“Upon the President’s assumption (last year), he has been telling these people that if he declares martial law, I will end all the problems hounding Mindanao,” Lorenzana said in Filipino.
Martial law, the defense chief said, will allow government security forces to restrict the movements of the Maute Group and other lawless elements.
“Well, we will be able to control their movement, we can implement searches and arrest or detain people (with links to the various terror groups),” he added.
And when asked on whether there are intelligence lapses in the Marawi City incident, Lorenzana said he does not believe this was the case.
“I don’t think there is a lapse of intelligence, it’s just appreciation of the intelligence that was lacking there,” he added, stressing that the military is well aware of the Maute Group presence in the area as proven by their recent encounters with the terrorist group in Piagapo and the nearby mountains.