Covert plans to launch terror assaults in schools in Zamboanga and Jolo prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to transfer for a five-month extension of martial law in Mindanao.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III stated Sunday that the plan was uncovered by the Armed Forces of the Philippine after it intercepted a ship on the way in which to Jolo.
“Hindi ba nakarating sa inyo na tinira (ng military) ang isang bangka ang Jolo? Nag umpisa na eh (rebellion activities). At ang laman nung intel (intelligence report), I don’t know if I’m authoritized to tell you, pero ang na discover doon sa mga nakuha na dokumento, mga eskwelahan ang titirahin sa Zamboanga at saka sa Jolo eh, habang nandoon ang mga estudyante,” Sotto added.
In a gathering with lawmakers in Malacanang final Monday, July 17, Sotto stated the President initially instructed him that one other 60 days or much less of enforcement martial would in all probability suffice to quell the riot in Mindanao.
But the President modified his thoughts and sought a five-month extension as an alternative after receiving new intel from the bottom, stated Sotto.
He stated that even AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano was stunned by Duterte’s change of coronary heart.
“So they were playing safe. And (AFP Chief of Staff) Gen. (Eduardo) Ano said nagulat sya, kahapon (during Congress’ special joint session) inamin nya, ang nagsabi (to extend it to 150 days) ang Pangulo. (The President said 60 days) hindi pwede. Mas mabuting safety, i-safe natin at least (have it enforced and end it) before Dec. 31,” the senator stated.
“Yung threat na sinasabi, baka kumalat (kasi) yung actual rebellion andoon na eh,” he stated.
Sotto stated Muslim rebels such because the Abu Sayyaf group (ASG) in Sulu, Basilan and Zamboanga, the Maute group in Lanao del Sur, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao and one other pro-ISIS group Maguid group in Saranggani have been decided to set up a Islamic state “wilayat” or province in Mindanao.
The senator, nonetheless, was not sure if this was revealed throughout an government session or closed-door briefing of the President’s safety cluster with senators final Wednesday on the Senate as he was then absent in the stated proceedings.
“Wala ako dun sa executive session eh. Nakuha ko lang yung brief after eh. Saka yung intel ko iba, sa iba galing kaya hindi nila ako pwedeng sabihin na kinontra ko yung executive session, bat ako nagsasalita sa inyo. Wala ako dun eh. Hindi ko narinig yun dun eh. Yung intel ko galing sa labas eh,” Sotto stated in explaining that he didn’t commit any breach in disclosing any data from the stated closed-door briefing.
Based on the stated data supplied by the navy, the intensified presence and operations of the AFP even outdoors of the battle space in Marawi City, yielded these developments.
It’s comprehensible that such data didn’t attain the eye of the media as focus currently had been totally on Marawi or that a few of the navy operations had no media protection, he stated.
“At meron din naman na hindi available na information sa inyo o sa amin totally. Sa President available lahat yun at nakakarating kaagad sa kanya,” Sotto stated.