Duterte mulls expanded Martial Law » Manila Bulletin News

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is mulling to declare martial law in the Visayas and the the rest of the country if terrorism and lawless violence spill outside Mindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte during his arrival after his working visit to Russia at NAIA on Wednesday. Photo by Jansen Romero | Manila Bulletin

Arriving in Manila from a shortened official visit to Russia, the President announced the possible expansion of martial law as he vowed to be “harsh” in dealing with Islamic State-linked terrorists in the country.

Duterte said he has issued a shoot-to-kill order against lawless elements as well as arrest and search without warrants in areas covered by martial law. Curfew in select areas will also be declared.

“If I think the ISIS has already taken foothold also in Luzon and terrorism is not really far behind, I might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people,” the President said in his remarks.

“Government may consider the covered areas of Martial Law in the event that members of the Maute group and other ISIS affiliated terrorists seek sanctuary or expand their terroristic activities in the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.

Duterte initially said he may expand martial law declaration to include Visayas since it is “walking distance” to the many islands in Mindanao.

“Because of the many islands, they can always escape there and begin another terroristic activity. I have ordered the military, especially the Navy to embargo the islands, specially the sea that separates Mindanao from the Visayas,” he added.

The President on Tuesday night placed Mindanao under Martial Law for a period of 60 days following the terror activities committed by the Maute terror group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

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