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December 8, 2018

Duterte seeks ML extension in Mindanao

World

December 8, 2018

MANILA: President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday asked legislators to extend martial law across the southern Philippines until the end of 2019 in order to quell continuing violence in the restive region, officials said.

Duterte’s request, which could be approved as early as next week, comes despite critics voicing concerns the move threatens human rights and places too much power in the leader’s hands.However, the president’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said a third extension was needed in the southern region of Mindanao to "protect the nation and its people".

Duterte initially put the Mindanao region under military rule after gunmen flying the black Islamic State flag attacked the mainly Muslim city of Marawi in May 2017, sparking a five-month battle that killed 1,200 people.Martial law allows the military to establish control with measures like curfews, checkpoints and gun controls in a nation where civilians are allowed to own firearms.

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