Philippines Declares Martial Law in Southern Province

IAS Prelims 2023

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law for 60 days in the southern province of Mindanao.

The decision was taken after fighting raged between militants and Philippine troops in pursuit of Isnilon Hapilon, the Philippine head of the Islamic State group.

The martial law declaration for the entire island of Mindanao, home to an estimated 21 million people.

At least one police officer was killed in the fighting in Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao, and as many as eight more wounded.

Mindanao has been the center of a decades-old insurgency by Muslim rebel factions in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

The martial law in Mindanao also raised questions about whether Duterte’s response was proportionate to the threat or whether other motives were involved.

In 1972, then-President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law to ensure that he would remain in power beyond the end of his second term the following year. He went to rule the Philippines for 14 more years until he was overthrown in the country’s “People Power” uprising in 1986.