03:44 GMT +322 October 2019
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    In this Aug. 16, 2017, photo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during the 19th Founding Anniversary of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines.

    Philippine President Not Ruling Out Declaration of Nationwide Martial Law

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    After the Philippines' military warned officials that the terrorist threat in the region was ongoing despite the defeat of a vicious pro-Daesh group in a siege, several decisive measures took place.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Wednesday after the Philippine Congress overwhelmingly approved the President's Duterte request to prolong martial law on the southern island of Mindanao, Philippine President raised the possibility of declaring martial law across the whole country amid remaining threat of terrorism and the intensified rebellion of the New People's Army (NPA), local media reported.

    According to the Philippine Star newspaper, the Duterte's request to prolong martial law on Mindanao until December 31, 2018 was backed by 240 legislators from the Philippine's Congress; 27 voted against it.

    "The rebellion has not stopped, it has just moved to another place," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told senators and House members in a special joint session.

    READ MORE: Trump Congratulates Duterte on the Liberation of Marawi From Daesh-Linked Group

    On December 12, Duterte said the prolongation of martial law for one year was recommended by the country's Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to ensure the total eradication of terrorists.

    Martial law was initially declared in Mindanao in May after the start of the conflict between the Philippine security forces and extremists affiliated with the internationally-condemned organization Daesh (ISIS), including the Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorist groups. On May 23, the Maute group's fighters, allegedly alongside some foreign terrorists, launched a series of attacks in Marawi City in order to establish a Daesh caliphate Southeast Asia. Duterte was forced to place the entire island under martial law for 60 days to prevent the possible spread of terrorism to other parts of the country.

    However, this controversial law has promoted severe criticism. Duterte’s perceived authoritative behavior and the killing of thousands of suspects under a brutal crackdown against illegal drugs that he launched after he took office last year have alarmed Western governments and human rights groups.


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    martial law, terrorism, Daesh, Rodrigo Duterte, Mindanao, Philippines
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