The video showing Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon plotting the takeover of Marawi City prompted Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson to support President Duterte’s decision to declare martial law in Mindanao.
“Since the AFP has already de-classified the confiscated video showing how Maute planned the Marawi City rebellion, I think I can now disclose that this video footage, among other disclosures in the security briefing made by top security officials of the Duterte administration during our executive caucus, is what made me decide to vote in favor of the martial law proclamation in Mindanao,” Lacson told the media on Wednesday, June 7.
In an exclusive video The Associated Press obtained from the military, it showed Hapilon discussing with his men how the Maute members would attack Marawi City.
Lacson further said, “Either those among our colleagues who still oppose the martial law proclamation did not understand the gravity of the security threat posed by the rebellion in the south, or they are simply opposed to anything that President Duterte does or acts on.”
Upon seeing the video, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said he wondered why opposition senators were still against martial rule in the region.
“We were shown that and other videos kaya nakakapagtaka na kontra ang opposition kahit alam nilang ganun na ang nangyari at ganoon katindi ang threat,” Sotto, a Duterte ally, said in a text message to reporters.
Senator Jose Victor “JV” Ejercito also supported the president’s call in protecting the territorial integrity of the country, saying Maute’s threat to our security justified the declaration of martial law.
“One of the sworn duties of the President, as well as all officials, is to protect the territorial integrity of the Republic,” he said.
“The video of Hapilon planning the siege with his cohorts reveals their end goal of establishing Marawi as the (chala) and the region to breakaway from the Republic,” Ejercito said.
“This is a threat to national security and our territorial integrity and justifies declaration of ML in Mindanao to quell the rebellion as soon as possible,” he added.