MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has requested Congress to extend martial law for the third time over the southern region of Mindanao, where several terrorist groups affiliated to the Islamic State are active, government sources said on Friday.
“The Senate President and House Speaker will call for a joint session to discuss the President’s request for the extension of martial law,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a message to the media.
Duterte’s decision comes after the military and police recommended extending the security measures until the end of 2019, due to threats from extremist forces.
Martial law was imposed on Mindanao in May 2017, after members of the Maute group, connected to the Islamic State, took control over part of Marawi city for five months.
The security measure was extended twice earlier, in July and in December 2017. It was set to end in late 2018.
Under martial law, groups such as Abu Sayyaf, which is also linked to the IS, have carried out more than a dozen attacks with explosives and killed hundreds.