Death toll in Marawi tops 500 — Philippines military

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella

The terrorists seized Marawi on May 23 in a bid to establish an enclave for the Middle East-based Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in Southeast Asia, and about 80-100 remained holed up in the city despite intense military efforts to oust them.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines reported Monday that as of Saturday evening, 367 terrorists have been killed and 367 firearms recovered from them.

Both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police chiefs already said they would likely recommend the extension of martial law given the continuing conflict in Marawi.

"Before we decide grant of extension for ML (martial law) in Mindanao, will still wait for the briefing by DND and AFP anytime soon", Mr. Ejercito said, adding: "No commitment until finish security briefing from DND and AFP".

They then cited several biblical passages on love of God and neighbor before urging action in showing solidarity with those who have fled Marawi and those who have been taken hostage.

The declaration of martial law in Mindanao may have prompted a sudden decline in Duterte's approval ratings in the region, but the president gained approval in other parts of the country.

Military officials have yet to submit the recommendation on whether to extend or lift martial law in Mindanao. Gen. Restituto Padilla ruled out expanding the coverage of martial law.

The SWS findings also followed a Supreme Court (SC) decision released on Tuesday, which affirmed the constitutionality of Duterte's martial law declaration as it threw out a consolidated petition filed by opposition lawmakers questioning its validity. "Only the President can ask for an extension of martial law".

President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he will likely extend 60 days of martial law he imposed in the southern Philippines to deal with a deadly siege of a city by militants allied with the Islamic State group because the situation remains critical.

Under the 1987 Constitution, there are safeguards against the abuse of martial law, such as a review by Congress and a 60-day limit.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III hinted that senators may vote in favor of a Palace request for the martial-law extension, but not one lasting five years as suggested by Alvarez. Ang dahilan kasi ba't nahirapan tayo, we knew that they were sorts - but ang hindi lang alam at baka na-miss-karami nang armas, " Mr. Duterte said.

Mr. Pimentel said Mr. Alvarez, who drew criticism with his proposal, was merely "telegraphing" his "personal position".

However, the June survey also found that 63 percent disagreed with the statement, "President Duterte should also declare martial law in the Visayas".

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