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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

CUTS SHORT RUSSIA TRIP
Published May 23, 2017 11:26pm
Updated May 24, 2017 12:01am

President Rodrigo Duterte declared the entire island of Mindanao in Southern Philippines under Martial Law.

The announcement was made by Palace spokesperson Ernesto Abella a few minutes past 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

He added that the effectivity of the martial rule will last for 60 days.

"The President has called me and asked me to announce that as of 10 p.m. Manila time, he has already declared Martial Law for the entire island of Mindanao," he said in a press briefing in Moscow, Russia.

Abella quoted Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra for legal affairs that the declaration was possible on the grounds of rebellion.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, during the same press conference, said Duterte will cut short his Russia trip following the atrocities in Marawi City.

Cayetano said the priority of Duterte is the safety of people in Mindanao.

"They understand that the presence of the President, of President Duterte is essential in the Philippines. But I will be staying behind. The agreements will be signed," he said.

"The President will not be staying until the 24th or the 25th," he added, but clarified that a formal announcement would be made later.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana named the establishments and facilities supposedly burned by the terrorist Maute group.

"Our troops reacted properly but as of tonight, the Maute group burned several facilities, the St. Mary's Church, city jail, the Ninoy Aquino school and the Dansalan college. The Maute fighters still occupy also the main street of Marawi City," Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana also took note that there were three fatalities while 12 were injured following the incident.

"As of tonight, there were three killed government troops, one PNP and two army... and 12 wounded. The whole of Marawi City is blacked out, there is no light and there are Maute snipers all around. So the troops are still on holding and several troops have joined them from other several neighboring units," Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana added that on Wednesday, more troops from Zamboanga and Manila will be brought in Marawi City.

He also said there were no civilians roaming around the streets as they stay in their houses. — BAP, GMA News

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