By Jeffrey Damicog
Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the government has ordered the arrest of 138 suspected members of local terrorist groups Maute and Abu Sayyaf wherever they may be in the country.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, President Duterte’s Martial Law Administrator over Mindanao, issued Arrest Order No. 1 dated May 29, Aguirre disclosed on Wednesday night.
Addressed to the chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the order directed the arrest of 138 persons including those identified only with aliases pursuant to the President’s Proclamation No. 216 dated May 23 which declared martial law over Mindanao.
Aguirre said anyone listed in the arrest order can be apprehended anywhere in the country and not just in Mindanao where martial law has been declared.
“Ang declaration ng martial law is only on the island of Mindanao. But ang epekto po nito halimbawa yung order of arrest pwede mo ipatupad ito o i-implement ito kahit saan ka naroroon although wala ka na, labas ka na sa Mindanao,” he told reporters.
The DOJ chief explained those in the list have committed the crime of rebellion which he explained is a “continuing offense.”
“Kahit sila ay tumakas, umalis na sila sa Mindanao at sila ay nakita sa ano mang parte sa Pilipinas whether sa Mindanao, Luzon, at Visayas pwede po silang arestuhin sapagkat nagkasala na sila,” he stated.