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News

  • Duterte ‘might declare’ nationwide martial law The entire Philippines might be placed under martial law if Islamic State (IS)-inspired terrorist groups reach Visayas and Luzon, President Rodrigo Duterte said, as he warned anew of a “harsh” response against extremists.  According to Pres. Duterte, his declaration of martial law in Mindanao “would not be any different” from the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s.  “I would be harsh. I have to do it to preserve the Republic of the Philippines and the Filipino people,” the President added.  Meanwhile, the writ of habeas corpus -- the judicial remedy to ensure the rights of the detained -- is suspended in Mindanao but Pres. Duterte assured there will be “no abuses” in the military’s part. Asked why the entire Mindanao had to be covered if clashes have so far been confined to Marawi, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the government also needs to confront “some problems” in other areas of the island.
  • DTI head to sign trade deals with Russia Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said he was staying behind in Russia to sign bilateral agreements with the foreign government in a bid “to deliver the message that business will continue” in spite of the terrorist attacks on a city in Mindanao. Sec. Lopez said that he and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano had been directed by President Rodrigo Duterte to continue as scheduled the official meetings with government counterparts as well as the planned business fora. Around 300 investors accompanied Pres. Duterte in his state visit to Russia, eager to take advantage of the new turn in Philippine foreign policy as it courts nontraditional allies such as Moscow and Beijing for their untapped economic potential.

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