Duterte Considers Martial Law For Entire Philippines

The Philippine president has threatened to impose martial law nationwide to combat a serious threat in the southern region of Mindanao after fighters there beheaded a police officer and took churchgoers hostage. The ongoing violence has forced thousands to flee the city of Marawi, located about 816km south of the capital Manila.
"I will not hesitate to do anything and everything to protect and preserve the Filipino nation," Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday after arriving back in Manila from his trip to Russia. "I might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people."
Duterte declared martial law on Tuesday in Mindanao - which makes up roughly one third of the Philippines and is home to 20 million people - in an immediate response to the attacks by the fighters.
The military claimed to have killed at least 13 fighters, members of groups that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. The roughly 100 attackers roamed through Marawi, killing five soldiers, taking a priest and an unspecified number of other people hostage from a church, setting fire to buildings and flying black ISIL flags, according to Duterte and his aides. Duterte said the fighters beheaded the local police chief after capturing him at a road checkpoint.

Local television station GMA News also published exclusive images of nine civilians, who were reportedly killed by the armed fighters.
ABS-CBN television channel also quoted the interior ministry as saying that the fighters managed to take control of the city jail and freed 107 prisoners.
The violence first erupted on Tuesday after the army raided the hideout of Isnilon Hapilon, a commander of the Abu Sayyaf group. Abu Sayyaf then called for reinforcements from an allied group, the Maute, and dozens of fighters managed to enter Marawi, home to about 200,000 people.
In ensuring clashes with the attackers, security personnel lost three of their comrades.The attackers reportedly burned a Catholic church, the city jail, and two schools, as well as occupied the main streets and two bridges leading to Marawi. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the fighters forced their way into the Marawi Cathedral and seized a priest, 10 worshippers and three church workers.

© 2019 Asian Mirror (pvt) Ltd