Walang secret-secret! Edcel bares details of Martial Law executive session

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As far as Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman is concerned, the Committee on the Whole meeting with Palace and Cabinet officials Wednesday (May 31) failed to justify the need for Martial Law.

“The resource persons from the Executive Department and the military and police authorities have not established a credible factual basis for the declaration of Martial Law,” Lagman said in a statement after the six-hour executive session of the Committee.

An executive session is closed to the public. The Bicol politiko went on to divulge details of the meeting in his statement.

According to Lagman, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reiterated in his briefing to lawmakers that he did not recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao under Proclamation No. 216.

Lagman said that Lorenzana “added that there was no prior consultation by the president with his official entourage in Russia before his imposition of martial law.”

“The military establishment also admitted that what precipitated the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi was the military operation to neutralize or capture Isnilon Hapilon, a high profile terrorist leader,” he said.

Lagman bared that Lt Gen Salvador Mison Jr., Vice Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) likewise admitted that the eruption of the armed confrontation in Marawi was “government-initiated.”

“Except for common crimes, no charges of rebellion have been filed against the suspected culprits in the previous terrorist violence committed in Mindanao and elsewhere according to the military establishment representatives in the presence of Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II,” he further said.