Another anti-Rody backfire was his opponents’ efforts to denounce him for deciding all by himself the martial law imposition, as Rody ended the speculations himself saying that the declaration was his decision alone.
The Magdalo duo of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and Rep. Gary Alejano were making an issue out of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s non-admission about the need for martial law to quell the Islamic State (IS) symphatizers assault on Marawi City.
The yellow critics of Rody tried to stretch Lorenzana’s statement to make it appear that Rody went against the sentiment of security officials against the martial law declaration.
Lorenzana supposedly said there was no recommendation to Rody regarding Proclamation 216 declaring martial law and suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao.
Speaking in Davao del Sur, Rody said there was nobody who recommended that he declares martial law in Mindanao but the information that the police and military had convinced him that martial law was needed.
“I asked them ‘are we already in the critical level?’” he asked.
The reply was that the situation in Mindanao had reached a dangerous point.
Rody noted “the practice of the ISIS in the Middle East, just exploding everything in their hands.”
The oft-quoted Lorenzana statement was supposedly given during a closed-door meeting with senators, which makes it more dubious since it was supposed to be privileged information that was hard to verify.
The yellow senators should also explain what’s the motivation for making public what was supposedly told to them involving national security issues behind closed doors.
Nonetheless, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said while Lorenzana did not make a recommendation, intelligence officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said in the closed-door briefing that they had recommended martial law.
Sotto who was in the same briefing as Trillanes and the rest of the Liberal Party (LP) members who were claiming that Rody jumped the gun, said he understood the statements of the security officials differently.
Based on the briefing, it was not Lorenzana but the military intelligence that Rody was in touch with. “And my understanding was that they (military) needed it,” Sotto said.
The yellows plus Trillanes, however, said Lorenzana made a form of confession to them there was no recommendation made to the President on the imposition of martial law.
Sotto, however, said what actually happened was Lorenzana merely replied to the question from the opposition “Did you recommend it?”
The answer was me, personally, no I did (not),” Sotto narrated.
The Duterte critics further went on to say that Lorenzana allegedly told them even without martial law, the Armed Forces of the Philippines is capable of crushing the Maute insurgents.
Trillanes tried to add more fuel saying “security officials” said they made no recommendation.
Trillanes claimed that instead, security officials just received information martial law was declared and “they implemented it.”
Sen. Risa Hontiveros added Rody’s declaration did not go through the calling out powers and that the security officials were “obliged” to implement it.
Hontiveros should have consulted Noynoy first about calling out powers regarding Oplan Exodus in Mamasapano, Maguindanao that resulted in the death of 44 Special Action Force policemen.
Lorenzana, in a statement after receiving the yellow treatment, said martial Law is imperative to address security concerns in the entire Mindanao immediately and decisively.
“Martial law aims to put an end to the long running rebellion in various provinces in the south, as evidenced by the incidents that happened in Zamboanga, Davao, Bohol, Lanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi and Maguindanao,” he added.
The long and short of it was that martial law was Rody’s call, which was what the public expected from their elected president.