Philippines' Rodrigo Duterte may place entire country under martial law

In an apparent dig at his predecessor Barack Obama - who had canceled a bilateral meeting with Duterte after the Philippine president insulted him - Trump then said: "I understand that and fully understand that and I think we had a previous president who did not understand that".

Martial law allows the use of the military to enforce order and the detention of people without charge for long periods. The objective, he said upon returning to the country from Russian Federation yesterday, is to "solve" the threat posed by the Maute group "once and for all".

Philippine troops battled heavily armed militants backing the Islamic State group in a southern city Tuesday, as months of sporadic fighting in the countryside shifted alarmingly into an urban area.

"Our country needs modern weapons".

The Russian leader also expressed his sympathy to those affected by the terrorist attack in Marawi City. It was not clear from his statement how damaged the buildings were by the arson. I'm going home. I'm cutting my visit here to be with my countrymen.

The Maute and Abu Sayyaf militant groups have pledged allegiance to Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and have proved fierce opponents for the military as Duterte seeks to crush extremists and prevent radical Islamist ideology from spreading in the Philippines.

Three government troops died in the fighting, said Abella, and 12 were injured.

He declared martial rule for 60 days in the entire Mindanao region.

A map showing the location of Marawi City in the Philippines.

Photos posted on social media by residents showed the gunmen walking through the streets of Marawi and placing black flags that looked similar to those used by IS.

The militants responded to the raid by burning buildings and conducting other diversionary tactics in Marawi, a mostly Muslim-populated city of 200,000 people, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, denounced the hostage-taking.

Duterte cut the trip short and headed back to the Philippines. "And that I have seized the chance to see you in person", President Putin said.

Two soldiers and a police officer were reportedly killed. "I will be staying behind".

Under the 1987 constitution, the president has the ability to place the country under martial law, though Congress has the ability to revoke the proclamation.

"Martial law of Mr Marcos was very good", Duterte said.

Since Duterte took office a year ago, he openly admitted that he'd be "happy to slaughter" 3 million drug addicts in his country. My fellow Filipinos, you have experienced Martial Law.

The group was blamed for a September 2016 bombing that killed 15 people in southern Davao city, the president's hometown.

Hapilon's Abu Sayyaf, based on the most southerly islands of Mindanao, has kidnapped hundreds of Filipinos and foreigners since the early 1990s to extract ransoms.

Hapilon was believed wounded when the military bombed his hideout in Lanao del Sur last January.

Jihadists claimed their first attack on Marawi almost a year ago.

Attacks carried out by ISIS-affiliated groups have since grown in scale and audacity.

  • Leroy Wright