President Rodrigo Duterte, while on official visit to Russia, imposed martial law for 60 days on the island of Mindanao on May 23 following the Maute attack in Marawi City.
As we already know the declaration of martial law is a constitutional power that the president has when he sees the country or a part of it being subjugated with impunity by extremists or terrorists, the likes of what was seen and reported in Marawi.
The imposition of martial law is said to be premised upon the principle that “the state has a right to defend itself” and rests on the proposition that “every state possesses the power of self-preservation.”
Martial law has been characterized as “the public right of self-defense against a danger to the order or the existence of the state.”
Lest I be misunderstood, I am not arguing whether or not Duterte is right in declaring martial law in Mindanao. What he is and where he is, there is no doubt that he knows better than most of us especially when he says that the militant Maute group’s incursion in Marawi City is fueled by drug money.
Whether it is drug money or funds coming from the foreign terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the fact alone that the ISIS inspired Maute group was able to terrorize Marawi causing the residents to fled hastily to Iligan city and elsewhere only means that they have the wherewithal to establish their own caliphate or Islamic State in the area.
That being the case, it becomes even more justifiable that martial has been declared so that government forces can wage war against them as mandated and, with God’s help, will be able to liberate Marawi from the evil doings of this group.
You will probably notice that I invoked the intervention of the Divine Providence.
I did for the simple reason that it is what gives our government forces the fortitude to fight for what is right, just and lawful, and what is best for the Filipino people in addition to what they know about fighting skills.
Thus, I am averse to the idea that President Duterte made a clarion call to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the CPP’s New People’s Army (NPA) to join the government in fighting the militant Maute group in Marawi City.
It is bad enough that all of them are thorns on the side of government, which to this day continue to be problematic as when they started rebelling and worshiping their own respective ideology.
Making these dissident groups part and parcel of our loyal government forces, who have pledged allegiance to the Filipino flag, for the sake of patriotism, is not only precarious but a very unsound military strategy.
Truly, it will only complicate matters.
At best it will put government at a disadvantaged, at worst the country will lose face.