Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte was in the midst his official visit to Russia after Islamist militants caused violence in Marawi, Mindanao. The violence has provoked the president to declare Martial Law throughout the whole city of Marawi and the island of Mindanao.

According to Duterte, government troops need to use their powers to defeat the Muslim militants under the Maute group. Moreover, he said it is necessary to root out the militant group in Marawi as they already took a dozen hostages and killed 44 people.

Philippines' martial law

While Duterte said that there is a need for a declaration of Martial law, which will be effective for 60 days in Mindanao in order to suppress lawless rebellion and violence and to protect the public, some Filipinos are not happy and strongly oppose the latest move of the Philippine President.

According to a local Muslim organization in the Philippines, the declaration of Mindanao Martial law will only reportedly aggravate the conflict between a group of armed men and the government troops.

The national chairperson of the Suara Bangsamoro named Jerome Aba said that it will only justify the urban militarization and also intensify their operations in Marawi City. He also added that it will just worsen the heightening peace instability.

He further said that the lives of civilians and innocent people will only get caught in between.

In addition, several groups of protesters have gathered in the Philippine presidential palace in Manila, Luzon to protest against Duterte’s declaration of martial law.

Renato Reyes, a leader of the protesters said that martial law is not the only answer to the conflict in Marawi and thus, it only makes the situation worse.

Despite the opposition, government troops are following the orders of Duterte and continue to fight against militants in Marawi City. In a recent press conference, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla assured the Philippines citizens that people who abide the law do not need to worry because Mindanao martial law is aimed at lawless elements involving rebellious activities.

He also added that AFP now can be trusted as they swore an oath to protect the state and every citizen of the Philippines. He also discouraged people to stop “living in the past” and stop comparing what the previous dictator, Ferdinand Marcos has done in the country.

Russia sends weapons

While Duterte was in Russia, his top priority was reported to be acquiring Russian-made precision military weapons in order to use against militants lurking in the southern part of the Philippines. This move of Duterte has gained attention from the media as this is unusual for a United States' ally to ask for help from the Russian government.

It can be recalled that the Philippines' president planned to break up from the country's longtime ally and expressed interest to side with China and Russia.