Hostages taken at church in southern Philippines

Duterte declares martial rule in besieged south Philippines

For now, Martial law will likely only apply to the south of the country, and may be expanded to the neighboring Visayas region.

But she also qualified the lack of the presidential proclamation and directive on martial law.

US President Donald Trump praised his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte over his immensely polarising drug war, which has killed thousands of people, reports said on Tuesday.

Duterte has frequently raised the prospect of martial law amid outbursts of violence in Mindanao.

Ernesto Abella, a representative of the president, made the shocking announcement during a press conference in Moscow yesterday.

"Duterte didn't need to declare martial law to address the situation".

Rodrigo Duterte warned that the Philippines could "implode" if the ongoing Islamist insurgency is not quashed immediately. He was also furious that the Maute group had hoisted the flag of Islamic State. "I'd be harsh." he said. "We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be or how to worship".

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In metropolitan Manila's Quiapo district, where a bomb blast earlier this month killed two people and wounded four others in a Muslim community, police put up checkpoints on Wednesday, stopping motorists to inspect cars and checking documents of motorcycle riders. A year ago two Canadian citizens were beheaded by the gang after ransom demands for millions of dollars were not met. They have also beheaded hostages . In a private call on April 29, Trump praised Duterte for doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem" in his country, referring to Duterte's violent anti-drug campaign that led to the deaths of almost 9,000 people, many gunned down on the streets.

Hapilon reportedly has been chosen to lead an Islamic State group branch in Southeast Asia and is on the U.S. Department of Justice list of most-wanted terrorists worldwide, with a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.

During the meeting, Duterte told Putin that the Philippines needs modern arms to fight Islamic State and that he expected Russian support.

"The terrorists have occupied the city", reported Marawi's Bishop Edwin De la Pena.

Gunfire erupted between Philippine security forces and militants in Marawi City in the mid-afternoon Tuesday. He went on to organize an alliance in the Philippines called Dawlatul Islam Wilayatul Mashriq, which is now believed to include at least 10 small militant groups including some Abu Sayyaf factions. To date, the conflict has claimed in excess of 130,000 lives. It's the first imposition of martial rule in the restive Muslim region since 2009 and will be in place for 60 days.

The martial law order by Ferdinand Marcos was handed down primarily to retain his position of authority. Filipinos have been wary of martial law since it was used by Marcos to remain in power for two decades, until his ouster in 1986.

"I've never seen anything like they are, but we don't have to use this but he could be insane so we will see what happens", Trump continued. Will ISIS security concerns ever prompt the declaration of martial law in the United States?



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