Philippine military seeks to secure troubled city as fighting eases

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN at a hotel in Phnom Penh Cambodia

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN at a hotel in Phnom Penh Cambodia

About 120 civilians were rescued from the hospital, the military said.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, also said jihadi fighters had taken a priest and at least a dozen other people hostage. There were reports that the black IS banner had been hoisted over the city hall and the Amai Pakpak medical centre. It was blamed for a bombing in Duterte's home city of Davao in September past year, which killed 14 people and wounded dozens.

"Our city was so dark".

EXODUS. Residents continue to leave Marawi City. He told IWPR in a telephone interview that he and his family had fled the city on the evening of May 23, sensing that the crisis was far from over.

"I will not hesitate to do anything and everything to protect and preserve the Filipino nation", the president said. "It took me five hours to find an alternative route because the city was already on lockdown".

MFA said Singaporeans should eRegister so that they can be contacted if necessary. He himself fled to the adjacent town of Marantao. The city of Marawi was still largely sealed off Thursday, although automatic gunfire and explosions could be heard.

"There are well-grounded fears that some forces may carry out dirty operations to justify the extension and expansion of Duterte's martial law to cover the entire country", the CPP said soon after ordering guerrillas to intensify offensives against government forces.

Mr Lorenzana said IS leaders in the Middle East had ordered Hapilon to move off his tiny island base of Basilan and into more populated areas of the southern Philippines near Marawi "to increase the mass base" of IS.

It was also not known whether civilians had been killed or wounded, or how many rebels remained and how many had retreated.

"I believe almost half of the people there already left".

He said this when met by reporters who had accompanied the PPM delegation to meet the Philippines Maritime Police representative, Maritime 1st Special Operations Unit commander Police Supt Cenen A Cuaresma.

The two countries signed ten major pacts including an Agreement on Defense Cooperation (ADC) which will pave the way for closer military-to-military ties through enhanced intelligence-sharing, training and possible future joint exercises. Duterte, however, took a firmer step by declaring martial law across all of Mindanao. His spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the president had taken the action to suppress "lawless violence and rebellion".

"To my countrymen who have experienced martial law, it would not be any different from what President Marcos did".

Duterte warned he may expand martial law nationwide, an unnerving development for many in the Philippines who remember the rule of longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos. If you fight us, you will die.

Given the lawlessness of Duterte's "war on drugs", in which the police and their agents have been implicated in the cold-blooded killing of more than 7,000 suspected drug dealers and users, military restraint in Mindanao may be wishful thinking. If there is open defiance, you will die.

Duterte said on Wednesday that one of the policemen killed was similarly caught at a checkpoint set up by the militants, then beheaded.

Tuesday's declaration of martial law effectively replaced the civilian government in Mindanao with the armed forces.

Expanding the military's legal authority in these conflicts opens the door to increased human rights violations against civilians, including leftist activists, indigenous leaders, and environmental activists, who have always been targets of military abuses.

Recommended News

  • 'Unidentified object' traverses border to S. Korea

    'Unidentified object' traverses border to S. Korea

    North Korean media claimed that mass production of its new medium-range ballistic missile could begin immediately. Also, the BBC notes that South Korean troops fired shots at a suspected drone in 2016.
    Provocative Israeli parade in occupied Jerusalem focus of dailies — Newspapers Review

    Provocative Israeli parade in occupied Jerusalem focus of dailies — Newspapers Review

    On Monday, a short clip showed Trump clearly reach out to his wife, who was walking a step behind him, and try to grab her hand. We are grateful that the administration recognizes the threat Iran's regime poses to the world and to Israel in particular.
    Manchester attack: 'Forgive me', bomber told mother in pre-bombing call

    Manchester attack: 'Forgive me', bomber told mother in pre-bombing call

    Michelle Kiss, a mother of three, taken, her family said, in the most traumatic way. "I haven't seen police come to his house". They were arrested "after police executed warrants in South Manchester ", the Greater Manchester Police department says.
  • Republican congressional candidate wins election after 'bodyslams' reporter

    But on Thursday night, Gianforte apologized both to Jacobs and to the Fox News crew for having to witness the attack. Results are not expected in the election until late Thursday night at the earliest. "He's on top of me".
    LeBron James passes Michael Jordan as all-time National Basketball Association  playoff scoring leader

    LeBron James passes Michael Jordan as all-time National Basketball Association playoff scoring leader

    Many an National Basketball Association fan demands a brilliant individual performance that delivers a W before committing. After allowing the Celtics to seize the early momentum in Game 4, the Cavs barely gave them the chance in Game 5.
    North Korea Missile Tests: US Warns Against Supporting Pyongyang

    North Korea Missile Tests: US Warns Against Supporting Pyongyang

    Thus said newly elected President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, expressing a radical shift in his country's policy toward North Korea .
  • Republican wins US House race after being charged with assaulting reporter

    The victor will replace Ryan Zinke , the state's former representative who left the seat to serve as Trump's Interior secretary . We pay for juicy info! Gianforte was charged with assault on Thursday night after "body-slamming" Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs .

    Israel marks 50 years of 'united Jerusalem', but city struggles

    Hundreds of jailed Palestinians have been on hunger strike since 17 April. And I intend to do everything I can to help achieve that goal.

    LeBron James surpasses Michael Jordan as all-time playoff scoring leader

    In the series against the Celtics , James averaged 29.6 points per game, 6.8 assists per game, and 6.4 rebounds per game. He entered the contest needing 28 points to pass Jordan and finished with a game-high 35 points for a total of 5,995.
  • US Treasury to play key role protecting finance IT infrastructure

    US Treasury to play key role protecting finance IT infrastructure

    European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he hoped Trump would not abandon multilateralism and free trade. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he would consider retaliating against US coal imports.
    Google Assistant To Get Mobile Payment Support

    Google Assistant To Get Mobile Payment Support

    The company said that the feature of sending money through Google Assistant is being tested and will be launched officially in few days.

    Trump's speech to Israeli parliament scrapped

    Trump initially expressed openness to alternatives to a two-state solution in February, during a meeting with Netanyahu at the White House .

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.