Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Phillippines president rodrigo duterte declares martial law

Phillippines president rodrigo duterte declares martial law

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the province, after the Islamic militant group Maute occupied Marawi.

Mr Lorenzana said on Tuesday night that many gunmen were hiding in buildings as snipers, making it hard for security forces to combat them. And anyone caught possessing a gun and confronting us with violence, my orders are shoot to kill. Duterte took the decision on Tuesday and cut short a visit to Moscow.

"I will not hesitate to do anything and everything to protect and preserve the Filipino nation", Duterte said on Wednesday after arriving back in Manila from his trip to Russian Federation. We need modern weapons to fight with ISIL to fight their units and groups. "That's how it is". Long queues of pickup trucks and jeeps crammed full of people and loaded with belongings snaked on roads leading into nearby towns.

Philippine authorities assert the situation is under control - though they have told residents in Marawi City to remain indoors and summoned reinforcements from neighboring regions to redouble their efforts to reclaim the city Wednesday morning. The clashes between government troops and Islamist militants left three people dead.

He said the militants also beheaded a local police chief in the city of Malabang in Mindanao.

When pushed on the extent of martial law and the possible implications for the nation as a whole, Duterte said, "it is the police and military that say we have reached a unsafe level..."

He said the group hoisted ISIL flags at several locations. "And that I have seized the chance to see you in person", President Putin said.

"The government must put an end to this".

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Duterte has warned repeatedly that Mindanao, an impoverished region beset by decades of unrest by separatist and Marxist guerrillas, was at risk of "contamination" by ISIS fighters driven out of Iraq and Syria.

The Muslim religious leader told that "innocent people might be caught in the crossfire or might be arrested illegally by mere suspicion".

Mr Duterte on Wednesday placed Mindanao, a group of islands in the Philippines, under martial law - suspending the writ of habeas corpus and ordering the military to embargo the islands.

Martial rule under Marcos was "very good", Duterte said, even as he said he wouldn't let law enforcers abuse their powers.

Muslim extremists abducted a Catholic priest and more than a dozen churchgoers after laying siege to the southern Philippine city of Marawi overnight, officials said Wednesday. "We beg every Filipino to pray fervently for Father Chito and for other hostages".

The violence erupted Tuesday night after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf commander who is on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists with a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.

Some of the groups, such as the Maute, have pledged allegiance to so-called Islamic State (IS).

Critics chided Duterte for what they saw as an overreaction in declaring martial law on an island the size of South Korea and the second biggest in the Philippines, after an incident in one city.

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