Philippines lawmakers want debate on martial law amid siege


This was the statement issued by Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson Brig. "For the terrorists, not surrendering will mean their sure death", Padilla said. "Our ground commanders have assured that the end is nearly there", Padilla said. "We're trying to isolate all these pockets of resistance".

As of May 29, government forces so far have killed 65 Maute group terrorists during the eighth-day clearing operations.

"We are in full control, meaning to say we can control who comes in and who comes out, who moves around and who doesn't", he said. "If the air strikes continue, they will really be in danger".

Security officials have assured lawmakers that the government was in control of the situation in Marawi with the resolve of ending the hostilities.

"The risks and the vulnerabilities of the people inside Marawi are rising every day", ICRC spokeswoman Lany Dela Cruz told AFP.

"In the end their relatives and everyday people may be the ones who will kill them", he said.

Manila Rep. Manny Lopez urged Albayalde to closely monitor the Muslim area in Quiapo especially because of its proximity to Malacañang. However, we are continuously conducting monitoring.

Wounded are placed at 72 with 69 AFP and three Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel.

Duterte declared martial law over the entire island of Mindanao after the crisis began last week.

Attack helicopters were streaking low over Marawi on Monday, firing rockets at militant hideouts, as heavily armed soldiers went house to house in search of fighters.

As of Tuesday morning, Ano said the military, working house-by-house, had cleared 70 percent of the city and the remaining militants were isolated.

Marawi City, known as the Islamic capital of the Philippines, became an instant battleground as skirmishes erupted after government security forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a known ally of the group and ISIS leader on May 23.

Militants' ongoing resistance suggested Hapilon, who has a $5 million Federal Bureau of Investigation bounty on his head, was still in the city, the Philippines military said.

"We are on track. Timetable is one week from May 25", Lorenzana said.

More news: Scott Dixon robbed at gunpoint in Taco Bell
More news: Trump defends Kushner, administration against what he calls 'fake news'
More news: Mike Dubke, President Trump's communications director, has resigned

Still, the fighters have turned out to be remarkably well-armed and resilient.

"Fighting is sporadic in our area".

"They are texting us and calling us for help", Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesman for the provincial crisis management committee, said.

Aside from Barangay Mapandi, some Maute gunmen are in the city's commercial district while the rest are holed up along the Agus River bank near the city.

He disclosed that eight Maute members surrendered to Marines last Sunday. "Your know it's hard, Mr. President, (that) from time to time we hear bursts of gun fire from the ground of your enemy, heavy firearms from your side", he said. "It's either you're going to die or you surrender for the sake of peace", Parcon said, referring to the remaining bandits.

"We reject any effort to create another Islamic government in a form which is un-Islamic, which should also be rejected by the people in the Asean region, especially Muslims", he said.

Malacañang assured Filipinos again that human rights and the rule of law in the implementation of martial law in Mindanao.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said it is up to the President to assess when martial law in Mindanao can be lifted.

"Let's leave the President to make a judgment on that", he told reporters in the Senate.

"They wanted to show the world that there is an ISIS branch here which can inflict the kind of violence that has been seen in Syria and Iraq", Ano said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

"That is why it is not just the Royal Malaysia Police and the anti-terrorism special unit which must be in a state of preparedness, I want to remind all enforcement agencies and even the public to immediately report if there are any suspect individuals or groups of people to the police so that immediate action can be taken", he said.

"Foreigners are not restricted in Mindanao as long as they carry their visa", he said.

The fighters' support network in Marawi remains unclear, though the power of one militant group - the Mautes - has grown in recent years.

Duterte said the founder and leader of the MNLF, Nur Misuari, had sent him a letter volunteering his men to join the battle in Marawi and other parts of Lanao del Sur province.