The Daily Manila Shimbun


DFA said martial law “necessary”, US Embassy “following the situation”

May 24, 2017

The Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to put the entire Mindanao region under martial law was “necessary” to suppress “lawless violence” and “rebellion.” Duterte, who was on an official visit to Russia, declared martial law on Tuesday night for Mindanao – the site of a battle between Philippine security forces and the ISIS-backed Maute terrorist group. “In order to suppress lawless violence and rebellion and for public safety it is necessary to declare Martial Law in the entire island of Mindanao including Sulu, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi for a maximum of 60 days,” the DFA said in a statement. Fighting broke out after government troops attacked a hideout used by key Muslim extremist leader Isnilon Hapilon. The US has a $5-million dollar bounty for him. United States embassy spokesperson Molly Koscina said the US is “aware of the reports regarding martial law in Mindanao and are following the situation.” A small group of US military anti-terrorism advisers are  in southern Mindanao. DMS