Rodrigo Duterte, Philippine president discloses that the Mindanao island martial law could last a year while the army battles the Islamist militants.
Officials say that three members of the security forces have been feared dead following the fighting on the southern island. President Duterte announced a 60-day martial law on Mindanao where autonomy is the priority of the Muslim rebels.
While some groups including the Maute have declared their allegiance to the self-acclaimed Islamic State (IS), President Duterte declared his optimism in dealing with terrorism harshly. This was coming after he announced the martial law on Tuesday.
In a video posted online, Duterte was seen saying that he’s bent on achieving his aim, despite the length of time it will take.
In a bid to handle the violence, President Duterte made his visit to Russia a short one. In his statement in Moscow with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, he laid emphasis that the Philippines needs sophisticated weapons to trash down the militants including the IS militants.
The martial law
The martial law is one that allows the use of the military to intensify order and hold people in detention for a while without any charge. According to the Philippine Constitution, a president has the power to impose martial law for as long as 60 days in a bid to put an end to rebellion or an invasion.
If the need for to revoke the law, the parliament can do it with the legality reviewed by the Supreme Court. Since the time of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, this is the second time martial law has been in place.
Information released by the military said that the violence started on Tuesday in Marawi, a city in Mindanao having about 200,000 persons. This was as a result of the search for the leader of the militant group who had pledged loyalty to IS.
The militants were said to be members of the Maute group according to the Defence Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana. He further said that this sect had dominated a jail and a hospital, as well burnt down buildings of which a church was involved.
President Duterte said that he is bent on causing a lasting peace on the island. Marawi is a city about 500 miles south of Manila capital.