Doubtlessly, what is happening in Marawi City today is not to be treated as part of daily combat operation like treating it as part of a routine military operation of government forces in a war zone. The entry of foreigners into the war theater is highly indicative of a problem that is not commonplace in our system of governance. It is on the firmness of expressing our determination to ward off external threat posed by ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf bandits that spells the difference whether we can stand the test of time.
The declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is a direct response to quell the violence and rebellious acts of Maute and Abu Sayyaf. It is meant to give teeth to government’s might to enforce warrantless search and arrest to address the complex nature of the problem.
The discovery of kilos of shabu in the Maute lair, the millions of money recovered from an abandoned house, the arrest of a former mayor who was tied to the maute group, and the highly radicalized espousal of installing a caliphate in Marawi City which was uncovered by police operatives, all these point to the urgency which strengthens the need for Martial Law to continue.
Our country stands to lose a territory if we show weakness in dealing with the onslaught of rebellious aggressors. We stand to lose everything if we cannot carry the burden of weeding our country from threats and attacks that undermine our stability. Let’s remember, our earnings from hosting tourist travels cannot dwarf the need to focus on much important discipline that tests our country today, that is to be free from internal and foreign threat of terrorism.