|Duterte warned that if the situation is not resolved, martial law could last a year.|
On Oct. 23, Duterte declared martial law throughout Mindanao at 10pm on the day of the fighting between the Philippine government forces and the militant forces 'Maute' which follows the IS. Duterte was on a visit in Moscow on the day he declared martial law. He immediately canceled the meeting with the Russian prime minister and returned to Philippines. He also called on the Russian government to provide weapons for the fight against the rebels. Furthermore, Duterte said that he would extend the martial law nationwide in the future if it’s necessary and terror suspects can be arrested and detained without a warrant. According to the nation’s constitution, martial law can only last for 60 days, but President Duterte warned that if the situation is not resolved, it could last a year.
The Philippines is a Catholic country, but the island of Mindanao has a significant Muslim population. Muslim rebels have been going through an armed struggle demanding independence from the Philippines. In September, Maute caused a bombing in a market in Davao City, Mindanao Island, where 85 people were killed. Maute hung up flags that symbolize IS in the city hall of Mindanao Island and in major institutions such as national hospitals, government offices and universities. There are more than 100 militants, who control Malawi hospitals and prisons, and set fire to the buildings of Catholic churches. One week after the fighting began, over 100 people were killed.
This is the third time martial law has been proclaimed in the Philippines. In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos issued martial law for the first time throughout the Philippines for a long term of power. In 2009, President Gloria Arroyo declared martial law in the southern province of Maguindanao, where nearly 60 people were killed by political terrorism. Duterte has warned of the chance of martial law many times before since he declared the war on drugs.
“Until the police and the armed forces say the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue. I will not listen to others,” Duterte said, "The consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible. Just do your jobs, I'll take care of the rest," he added. Furthermore, Duterte is being criticized for telling an inappropriate joke to his soldiers about rape in his speech, “I alone would be responsible for anything they did under martial law. I will go to jail for you. If you happen to have raped three women, I will own up to it.” said Duterte. The Korean ministries recommend tourists to refrain from going to Philippines until it is secure and the martial law ends.
By Jeong Seung-in, reporter
Jeong Seung-in firstname.lastname@example.org
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