BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Four Mindanao terrorist groups have pledged allegiance to the Middle East-based international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Solicitor General Joe Calida identified the groups as the Abu Sayyaf led by Isnilon Hapilon, Ansarul Khilafah Philippines (AKP) led by Mohammad Jaafar Maguid, Maute Group led by Omar Maute, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Calida named the terrorist groups in a consolidated comment he submitted on June 13 to the Supreme Court, which on the day started hearing oral arguments of petitioners seeking to nullify President Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.
According to Calida, the groups linked up with ISIS for the purpose of establishing a wilayah (province) in Mindanao.
ISIS, considered as today’s most violent terrorist group, plans to establish a global caliphate and has tapped Mindanao terror groups to make the Philippines’ southern island as part of the ISIS worldwide Islamic state.
The May 22 attack on Marawi City by combined forces of the Maute Group and the AbuSayyaf Group was part of the terrorists grand plan to capture the Muslim city to become part of the caliphate of ISIS.
The terror attack prompted President Duterte to issue Proclamation 216 declaring Martial Law in Mindanao.
The Supreme Court held three days (June 13, 14, 15) to hear oral arguments on the petitions seeking to nullify President Duterte’s declaration on grounds it had no factual basis.