Duterte mulls curfew in parts of Mindanao

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 24 2017 08:22 PM | Updated as of May 24 2017 09:25 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte plans to impose a curfew in parts of Mindanao following his martial law declaration aimed at quelling members of the Maute terror group, which clashed with government troops Tuesday. 

“I said I will not declare curfew but maybe in certain areas, [such as] Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato and maybe in Zamboanga,” Duterte said in his speech upon arriving in Manila, after cutting short his official visit to Russia.

The president said the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi may also be included in the list of areas with curfew.

Duterte placed all of Mindanao under martial law on Tuesday after government troops clashed with the Maute Group in Marawi City, where the rebels burned down buildings and held several people hostage. 

The President had previously threatened to impose martial rule in Mindanao to resolve lingering peace and order problems. 

Aside from declaring martial law, Duterte also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which would allow government forces to arrest anyone caught in the act of rebellion even without a court-issued warrant.

The clashes in Marawi City erupted as government troops were about to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader who is also allegedly the head of the Islamic State in the Philippines. The US government is offering a $5-million bounty for his capture.

The President is mandated by the Constitution to submit to Congress his justification for declaring martial law within 48 hours of his declaration. The legislature will then conduct a review and decide by a majority vote whether to uphold or revoke the declaration.