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Duterte resurfaces after rest, says battle with militants winding down

19 June 2017

However, Duterte has unclear stand whether or not to extend Martial Law.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who had avoided public appearances for almost a week to recover from what spokesmen described as fatigue, said on Saturday that a battle with Islamist militants in Marawi City was winding up, but the insurgency had deep roots. "We believe on the Chief Executive's determination to end the conflict, and [that] he has no tendency of abusing his authority".

The military has said at least eight foreign fighters from Chechnya, Yemen, Malaysia and Indonesia were among the militants killed in the Marawi fighting. "If he does, Congress will support him", Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said.

Mindanao was placed under martial law on May 23 following the attack on Marawi City by the Maute terrorists.

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The 60-day martial law declaration is set to lapse on July 22.

Despite his threat of a stronger crackdown, Mr Duterte conceded he would be willing to revoke martial law if the Supreme Court found it unlawful.

The two petitions were filed by the groups of former senators Rene Saguisag and Wigberto Tanada.

The justices also ordered the Office of the Solicitor General, as counsel for respondents Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III and House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez to submit its comments on the petitions within 10 days.

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President Rodrigo Duterte declared a martial law in Mindanao on May 23 in response to clashes in Marawi City that began when police and military made efforts to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the so-called emir of Daesh in South East Asia.

Also on Saturday, 400 fresh troops were airlifted to Marawi from the central Philippines, ANC television said quoting military officials.

Many critics of Martial Law have challenged the proclamation at the supreme court, which ended the hearing on the oral agreements this week. That claim would, in part, justify the President's order to declare martial law and lock down the whole island region to prevent the Maute terror group from escaping to God knows where. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said in a press briefing. "If we find that there is basis for the extension of martial law after our careful assessment of the situation, of course, we will grant the request of the President", she said. "It's important that we do everything we can to help them return to a sense of normalcy", Morris told ANC Saturday.

"These justices, judges, arguing terrorism not rebellion".

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"Conditions are getting better but, as you can imagine, it's been chaotic and not an environment you want your children to be in", he said. That they burn half of Mindanao before we can call it a true blue rebellion? "Wala na. Basta... then it could be a copycat of Marcos", Duterte said.

Duterte resurfaces after rest, says battle with militants winding down