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.
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.