MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he will not negotiate with militants aligned with the Islamic State group who are holding hostages in a besieged southern city, and that he has ordered troops to kill the gunmen even if they slaughter the hostages.
The tough-talking Duterte issued his strongest warning yet to the local and foreign militants, whose stunning siege of Marawi has dragged on for nearly two weeks. Troops have battled to regain control of most of the lakeside city, but the militants, who are believed to be holding a Catholic priest and many other hostages, continue to control pockets of territory.
At least 178 people have been killed in Marawi, the heartland of Islamic faith in the southern Philippines, since hundreds of gunmen waving Islamic State-style black flags rampaged across the city on May 23, burning some buildings and occupying others as they battled troops backed by airstrikes and artillery fire.
The dead include 120 militants, 20 civilians and 38 soldiers and policemen.
“I was asked if I could negotiate. I’m telling you now, you can kill all those you’re holding now, but I won’t talk to you,” Duterte said in a speech before peace talks advocates at an air base in the central city of Lapu-Lapu. “My order really is to shoot you and to shoot you dead.”
READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/05/1706949/duterte-maute-no-talks-even-if-you-kill-hostages
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine News Agency (PNA) and Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson have posted wrong photos to depict the military offensive in Marawi City.
In its May 27 report titled “Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi,” the PNA used an uncaptioned photo of a soldier seemingly investigating a house while residents looked on.
Later reports noted the photo was not taken in Marawi City, but rather a cropped version of a photo of Vietnamese soldiers uploaded in Wikimedia Commons.
The photo has since been taken down from the PNA page.
On Monday, Uson shared an image of kneeling soldiers with the caption, “Let’s pray for our army. Panalangin din po natin ang mga pamilyang naiwan at nababahala sa kalagayan ng kanilang asawa at tatay.”
However, netizens quickly pointed out the image was not taken in the Philippines but in Honduras.
“Tell your followers and yourself that we have enough photos of our soldiers praying. No need to use Honduras police’s. Shame!” added the Twitter account.
The PNA yesterday apologized over the errors in the two articles.
RECOMMENDED READ FROM FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/05/31/1705328/oops-vietnam-photo-used-marawi-story