Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday said President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao "became a necessity" due to "actual rebellion, terrorism, and the presence of ISIS."
"It was our hope that President Duterte would be able to institute the reforms needed by the country without declaring martial law in any part of the country," Cayetano said in a briefing with diplomats.
"However due to actual rebellion, terrorism and the presence of ISIS on Philippine soil, the declaration of martial law became a necessity."
Cayetano briefed the diplomats on the legal framework, objectives and factual basis of the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
He assured diplomats of the government's commitment to upholding the Constitution, the laws, and the preservation of the people's constitutional rights.
"In other words, no abuses," Cayetano said.
Diplomats were allowed to ask questions during the closed-door session.
A total of 63 embassies and international organizations were invited, with 97 representatives expected to attend.
Cayetano was joined by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, Interior Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing III, Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Brig. Gen. Isidro Purisima, National Security Deputy Directors Gen. Rufino Lopez and Vicente Agdamag, and Intelligence Coordinating Director Gen. Alex Paul Monteagudo.