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Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday said that the Congress will look into the basis of President Rodrigo Duterte's declaration of martial law in Mindanao. "If I declare martial law, I will finish all the problems, not just drugs", Duterte said, reiterating a threat to crack down on Islamist militants. Let us pray for the safety of our soldiers and police and the community caught in between.

Duterte declared martial law in the southern region of Mindanao, home to about 20 million people, on Tuesday night after gunmen who had declared allegiance to the Islamic State group rampaged through a southern city.

"It signals the full-throttle militarist solution to the crisis, endangering more civilian lives and communities". "Such blanket declaration enables the military crackdown on perceived terrorists and enemies of the state not just in Marawi but in other Mindanao cities and provinces as well".

Duterte announced on May 23 that he was coming back to the Philippines because of fighting between the Mindanao government and Muslim rebels who want the island to have more autonomy.

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The constitution only allows martial law for 60 days in the event of rebellion or invasion.

Congress is set to adjourn sine die next week. The transcript - produced by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs and later authenticated by top officials in the agency - begins with pleasantries, then Trump launches into his praise of Duterte.

The Philippines endured a decade of martial law under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos from the early 1970s and memories of campaigns to restore democracy and protect human rights are fresh in the minds of many people. "We can definitely cooperate in the military sphere", said Putin.

He also stressed that Philippines needs modern weaponry to fight Daesh (outlawed in Russia) and expressed hope that Moscow would assist his country in arms procurement.

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President Trump also invited President Duterte to the White House to discuss the importance of the the United States-Philippines alliance, which is now heading in a very positive direction.

Lt. Gen. Eduardo Ano, the armed forces chief of staff, said almost 50 gunmen entered Marawi City, which has a population of about 200,000, and burned houses and other buildings to sow confusion during the fighting, the Associated Press reported.

These include the Maute group, which is based near Marawi.

"Units of the Islamic State Group are occupying a province and there are clashes, a military operation is still ongoing". According to security services, the leader of the Abu Sayyaf extremist group, Isnilon Hapilon, is among those blocked in the apartment.

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Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella confirmed that the fighters had taken over several government buildings in the city, and had torched others, including a church, a school and the city jail.

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