MANILA (3nd UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte on 10 p.m. Tuesday declared martial law in the entire Mindanao island amid the ongoing clashes between government troops and Maute group terrorists in Marawi City, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
Abella, in a briefing in Moscow, said the President ordered him to make the announcement.
He said martial law in the area will be in effect for 60 days, as stipulated in the Constitution.
“This is on the grounds of resistance and rebellion based on what is happening,” he said.
“What the President has done is only for Mindanao including Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-tawi,” added.
Duterte’s meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will be postponed as he will leave Russia at 10 p.m. Moscow time, to return to Manila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.
He said he has spoken to his counterpart in Moscow and Russian officials understand the situation.
Putin will meet Duterte later Tuesday, rather than Thursday, the Russian press secretary Dmitry Peskov was quoted as TASS news agency.
“They understand that the President has to return to the Philippines. I will stay behind to sign agreements. The President feels he is needed in Manila ASAP,” Cayetano said.
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