BAYAN MUNA FILES HOUSE RESOLUTION 1075 TO PROBE US MEDDLING IN MARAWI CITY

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

SEVENTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 1075

Introduced by Rep. CARLOS ISAGANI ZARATE
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RESOLUTION
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DEFENSE TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF LEGISLATION AND AS PART OF ITS OVERSIGHT FUNCTION, ON THE SUPPOSED PARTICIPATION OF UNITED STATES FORCES IN THE MARAWI CITY OPERATIONS OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

WHEREAS, on May 23, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation No. 216, series of 2017, DECLARING A STATE OF MARTIAL LAW AND SUSPENDING THE PRIVILEGE OF THE WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS IN THE WHOLE OF MINDANAO as a result of the violence that erupted in the Islamic City of Marawi;
WHEREAS, according to President Duterte’s Report to Congress, on May 23, 2017 a government operation to capture Isnilon Hapilon, senior leader of the Abu Sayaff, and Maute Group operational leaders Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute, was confronted with armed resistance that escalated into open hostility against the government;
WHEREAS, on same day, the AFP, through its Public Affairs Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo, declared that the situation in Marawi City had stabilized, and that “security forces are in full control of the situation”. The military even confidently reported that they were merely conducting mopping up operations and surgical strikes on the remaining Abu Sayaff and Maute groups in Marawi City;
WHEREAS, more than two (2) weeks thereafter, however, Martial rule is still implemented in Marawi City and the whole of Mindanao. Noticeably, US Special Forces are then seen in the conflict zone of Marawi, while US spy assets like the US P3 Orion surveillance plane, were already being used to supposedly flush out the Maute/ISIS group;
WHEREAS, on June 9, US Embassy Spokesperson Molly Koscina confirmed the US involvement in the Marawi operations after a TV network aired a video of the US P3 Orion surveillance plane flying over Marawi. The US official claimed that the US involvement was “at the request of the Philippines.”
WHEREAS, on June 10, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, the spokesperson of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, confirmed the presence of these US forces but claimed that their participation is allegedly “limited to intelligence sharing,”

WHEREAS, on June 11, President Duterte said that he did not know beforehand that the US military has been helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines fight the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf in Marawi City.

WHEREAS, many quarters are questioning the presence of US Special Forces in Marawi City, especially since the AFP is saying that they are just mopping up and the city would be liberated by June 12 or Philippine Independence Day;

WHEREAS, concerned sectors are asking if the US knew beforehand that there would be a Maute/ISIS attack but allowed it to happen as payback for Pres. Duterte's anti-US rhetoric. There are also speculations that the US is using the Marawi incident as a pretext for expanding and prolonging its so-called “war on terror” campaign in the Philippines;

WHEREAS, Congress should dig deeper into the role of the United States government and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the reported activities and merger of their alleged covertly-created terror groups, the Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups, particularly its link to the US-supported Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which undermine regimes like the Duterte administration, for the geopolitical and economic interests of the American government;

WHEREAS, It is very alarming that the commander in chief himself does not know that his military and security officials like Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano have already asked assistance from a country that he has continually hit as a hypocrite and is only looking out for its own self-interest;
WHEREAS, there were several incidents that US troops were already involved in overt and covert operations in Mindanao, from the 2002 Buyong-buyong Isnijal shooting, to the Michael Meiring incident in Davao City and even in the 2015 bungled Mamasapano operations;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Defense to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, and as part of its oversight function, on the supposed involvement of United States forces in the Marawi City operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines;

Adopted,

CARLOS ISAGANI ZARATE
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