We strongly support the declaration of martial law in Mindanao effective on 23 May 2017 by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
We condemn in no uncertain terms the spate of violence and hostilities in the City of Marawi allegedly perpetrated by suspected members of the Maute Group, which has cost the loss of lives, the destruction of several properties, the disruption of services of vital public installations and services, and instilling fear and anxiety on the general populace.
Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution empowers the President of the Republic to declare martial law for a period not exceeding 60 days in cases of rebellion and invasion, when public safety requires it. We believe that the act of President Duterte in declaring martial law is indeed a decisive move on the part of the country’s commander-in-chief in order to immediately suppress lawless violence and neutralize the tense situation in Marawi City at the soonest possible time to prevent the violence from spreading further to other parts of the country. As local chief executives, we commit to be more vigilant in ensuring peace and security in our respective areas of jurisdiction to prevent the escalation of lawless violence and we extend our assistance and support to our beleaguered brothers and sisters as we continue to pray for sustained peace in our nation, especially in Mindanao.
So help us God. Done this 24th day of May 2017 in Manila.
GOV. EDGAR M. CHATTO
GOV. AL FRANCIS C. BICHARA
GOV. RYAN LUIS V. SINGSON