It was military intelligence officers who urged President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao to deal with the menace posed by the Maute group, Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto stated Tuesday (May 30).

Sotto made the clarification after the minority bloc claimed that protection and safety officers didn’t suggest the declaration of martial law.

“Hindi naman sya (Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana) ang kausap ng Pangulo. Maraming information and prerogatives (coming in). Ang intindi ko they (military) need it,” he stated in an interview with reporters.

Members of the Senate minority bloc stated Lorenzana instructed them throughout Monday’s closed-door briefing on the state of affairs in Marawi that there was no advice made to the President on the imposition of martial law in the entire of Mindanao.

“Hindi naman nya sinabing ganun eh. Sinabi nya sya. Ang tanong sa kanya ng members ng minority, you did not recommend it? Ako, personally, no I did (not). Pero hindi sya (ang nag recommend kay Duterte). Iba, yung J2 (deputy chief of staff for intelligence of the AFP),” Sotto narrated.

The majority chief additional contradicted the statements of Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and his allies – Senators Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV – on the matter of Lorenzana supposedly confessing to them that Duterte’s transfer to declare martial law was not backed up by any advice from the AFP or safety officers.

Sotto stated it was clarified within the briefing why there was a must subject Proclamation No. 216 based mostly on the briefing of military intelligence officers.

Lorenzana and two different prime Executive officers , National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and AFP deputy vice chief of employees Lt. Gen. Salvador Melchor Mison Jr., have been merely listening as properly.

“They started answering when they were being asked by the minority (bloc). Esperon also made a pitch, an explanation on why there is need for martial law,” he stated.

Sotto additional underscored that what Lorenzana instructed them that he was not the one who really helpful its declaration on that day, May 23.

“Ang sinabi nya hindi sya, si Sec. Lorenzana, personally sya mismo nag recommend. (It’s) the intelligence arm of the AFP. Yun ang pagkakaintindi ko. Ewan ko kung ano intindi ng iba. Yun ang problema,” he stated.