Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Philippines' Duterte leaves for 4-day visit to Russian Federation


This handout photograph from the Presidential Photo Division (PPD) taken and released on May 19, 2017, shows Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte delivering a speech during the 33rd National Convention of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) in Davao City on the southern island of Mindanao.

Duterte on Tuesday night placed all of the southern region of Mindanao, which makes up roughly one third of the country and is home to 20 million people, under martial law, following deadly clashes between security forces and Islamist militants.

In Mindanao, there are various other conflicts and struggles not related to ISIS or the Maute group and ASG.

Martial law will last 60 days, Abella pointed out.

Duterte channeled the misogyny in the Philippines to build his support: imprison or demean the women opponents like the Vice President and Senator DeLima; and marginalize the overseas workers.

This was a follow-up to Moscow's commitment to President Rodrigo R. Duterte late November past year made in a bilateral meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting in Lima, Peru.

He had vowed to be "harsh". "Russia must cease to be at the margins of Philippine diplomacy", he said.

"I have to do it to preserve the republic".

Cayetano on Monday said the people should trust President Duterte in his dealings with the Chinese, saying running the ship [of state] does not require many captains.

However Tuesday's announcement restricted martial law to Mindanao. Human rights groups have expressed fears that martial law powers could further embolden Duterte, whom they have accused of allowing extrajudicial killings of thousands of drug suspects in a crackdown on illegal drugs.

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Lorenzana said the group's presence in the mountainous areas of Marawi City wwas not unknown to government forces.

Pursuing an independent foreign policy, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte left for Russia Monday to seek advanced weapons, specifically precision armaments.

Two soldiers and a police officer have been killed, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said Trump discussed intelligence about Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at talks in the Oval Office this month, raising questions about Trump's handling of secrets.

He is a commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group and was wounded by a military airstrike in January. Asked if there is already an official document of the declaration, Duterte's spokesman said "details to follow".

"We have so many smart bombs but not as accurate". You murdered our babies because you say you were tying to kill drug users.

He said the group erected Islamic State flags at several locations.

Duterte met China's President Xi Jinping for talks in Beijing last week and later said Xi had warned him there would be war if the Philippines tried to explore for oil in a disputed stretch of sea.

Failure to do that would mean Duterte would be "selling us out", he said. Having encountered difficulties procuring weapons from the USA due to disagreements over his shoot-to-kill drug war, Duterte is looking to new partners for weapons. Both groups have sworn allegiance to Islamic State.

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