Palace ‘open to all options’ vs terrorist groups
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — The presence of the Maute group and its allies in Marawi City is no longer that strong, Malacañang said yesterday, even as it stressed that it is “open to all options,” including a nationwide martial law, to ensure public safety.  

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said no one could predict the next moves of the terrorists, who are reportedly regrouping and recruiting new members. 

“If something happens, we will apply. Hindi naman natin inaasahan na ganoon kalaki iyong presence ng Maute at ng Dawlah Islamiya diyan sa Marawi (We do not expect the presence of the Maute and the Dawlah Islamiyah in Marawi to be that huge). So, once they attack, then the President (will) use his prerogative, his power to declare martial law,” Andanar told radio station dzMM

“Now, anything can happen around the country. We cannot guess what will happen but it is possible since the elements from the Middle East, in Iraq, Mosul, in Aleppo, the war there has ended, they will go back here, especially the Filipinos they recruited,” he added.  

Andanar said those who joined the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan and who aligned themselves with the group of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden became members of the Abu Sayyaf. 

 

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