Terrorism & Insurgency

Philippines’ Congress approves one-year martial law extension in Mindanao, frequent low-intensity skirmishes between army and insurgents likely

14 December 2017


On 13 December 2017, the Philippine Congress voted 240-27 in favour of President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law in Mindanao until 31 December 2018.

In a letter to the Congress on 8 December 2017, Duterte explained that an extension was necessary to combat Islamist militants, who remained active in Basilan, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sulu, and to confront the New People’s Army (NPA) communist insurgents, who had intensified their attacks in Mindanao over the past year. Martial law in Mindanao was initially declared on 23 May after two Islamist militant groups, the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Maute group, captured Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.

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