Duterte Seeks to Extend Martial Law Through End of 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday asked the Philippine Congress to extend his martial law for the island of Mindanao until at least the end of this year, pushing beyond the 60-day limit that was initially granted to him. Duterte has used the martial rule to attempt to crush Islamic State-inspired insurgents from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, who took over parts of Marawi City in late May. Under martial law, according to Reuters, Duterte has overseen “57 days of government ground offensives, air strikes and artillery bombardments, in a battle authorities say has killed 413 militants, 98 members of the security forces and 45 civilians.” Critics have suggested Duterte has used the martial law to abuse civil rights by surveilling and arresting citizens without warrants.