The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday assured the international community that the government is in “full control” of the situation in Mindanao after the declaration of martial law in the whole southern region.
The statement came a day after firefights between the government and armed men, later identified as the Maute group, erupted in Marawi City. Reports of fires and hostage-taking had been reported but no confirmations yet from authorities.
Photos of ISIS flags in the city had been circulating on social media. The Maute group previously reported to have pledged allegiance with the international terrorist group ISIS.
“In order to suppress lawless violence and rebellion and for public safety, it is necessary to declare Martial Law in the entire island of Mindanao including Sulu, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi for a maximum of 60 days,” DFA said in a statement.
“The Philippine government is in full control, and fully aware that the Maute Group / ISIS groups have the capability (although limited) to disturb the peace; they have shown no hesitation in causing havoc, taking innocent lives and destroying property,” it added. JPV
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