Philippine lawmakers approve extending Mindanao martial law to end of year

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 22, 2017 4:12 AM

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine lawmakers on Saturday voted to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year, giving President Rodrigo Duterte extra time to quell a rebellion by militants allied with the Islamic State group.

A total of 261 legislators agreed to extend military rule in a seven hour-long joint special session of the House of Representatives and the Senate, accounting for more than two-thirds of Congress membership of more than 300.

Ahead of the voting, security officials told lawmakers that martial law was needed to stabilize a region where Islamic State was gaining influence, and supporters could be inspired to stage uprisings in areas on Mindanao, joined by foreign jihadists.

(Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; Editing by Martin Petty & Shri Navaratnam)