Marawi conflict is not a religious war, Philippine bishops insist

Marawi conflict is not a religious war, Philippine bishops insist

The military stationed in Mindanao said they are supporting whatever decision Congress will be make on the extension of martial law.

While businessmen supported the imposition of martial rule in Mindanao in order to quell terrorism in Marawi City, they have also complained of business losses. 'Are you in favor of making martial law last until 2022, until the end of the term of our President?' They said they were in favor.

"In a few days it will be submitted to the [Defense] secretary for his consideration because he is the administrator of martial law, and that recommendation will make its way up to the commander-in-chief who will be provided an advance copy", he said.

Duterte, who was forced to cut short a state visit to Russian Federation when fighting broke out in Marawi, potentially courted controversy with his declaration of martial law, a sensitive subject for most Filipinos.

The Senate speaker insisted the final decision rests with Duterte.

Armed Forces spokesman Brig.

In the light of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez dropping more than just hints tilting toward an extension of up to five years for the martial law declared over the whole of Mindanao, several quarters, not the least of which is the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), have come out with a perspective that is not entirely synchronous.

Some of the 300 civilians still trapped in the area may have been taken captive, said Padilla.

"Civil and political rights continue to be violated by checkpoints, random searches by AFP soldiers, threats against the right to express views, and so on", the CPP said.

Children and hostages are being forced to fight alongside pro-Islamic State (IS) gunmen waging a seven-week battle for a Philippine city, the country's military said yesterday.

"As disturbing as it is, our troops are doing their best to avoid any casualty among these children that are being employed", Padilla said.

"If they say there is no more danger and everything is OK, then that is the time that we will lift martial law", Duterte said. "Similarly with the hostages being forced [to fight]", he added.

Duterte also dismissed as a "pretender" Marawi community leader Agakhan Sharief, who told the news organization Reuters on Wednesday that days after the terrorists seized the city, a senior aide to the president approached him and asked him to use his connections with the terrorists' leaders to start back-channel talks.

On 10 July, the Philippine military estimated that more than 500 people have died in the almost two-month siege of Marawi.

While responding to the suggestion, a spokesperson for the Philippines military said the five-year period will be a protracted deadline.

"For now, we once again call on the people to be more cautious and discerning".