DAVAO CITY, December 2, 2016 — Malacañang has denied that the ambush on its own personnel was staged to justify the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the declaration of martial law.
In a statement, Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan denied rumors that the incident was made up.
“That remains to be a conspiracy theory. So we ask citizens to always verify the news that they receive in social media,” Ablan said.
Seven members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and two soldiers were wounded in an ambush in Marawi last Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte visited the casualties in Cagayan de Oro the following day.
Yesterday, Duterte himself shrugged off speculation that he was going to declare martial law.
“Kalokohan ‘yan. Nag-martial law man tayo noon, anong nangyari? Gumaling ba ang buhay natin hanggang ngayon? Wala,” Duterte said at the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) local government summit held at the SMX Convention Center in this city.
Critics of the government are drawing a parallel between the PSG ambush and the ambush on then-Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile on September 22, 1972.
Enrile had said during the People Power uprising that the ambush was staged by then-President Ferdinand Marcos in order to justify the declaration of martial law.
Enrile, however, would retract that statement in his book “Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir” published in 2012.