Marawi City may have been liberated from the Maute terror group but martial law will not be lifted in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.
The President said he will not lift martial law “until the last terrorist is taken out.”
In a speech during the 43rd Philippine Business Conference and Expo in Manila, Duterte said the Islamic State-inspired terrorists could still launch retaliatory attacks against government security forces.
“I declared martial law and so everybody was asking, ‘When will it stop?’ It will not stop until the last terrorist is taken out. They are still at it,” the President said.
“The military has been mouthing it and the police, several times, that we prepare for retaliation. We know and I know that it is coming. When? we really do not know,” he added.
Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law after the Maute group seized Marawi City in May.
On October 17, the President declared the Islamic city free from the clutches of the terror group after soldiers killed terror leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute.
In July, lawmakers voted to extend martial kaw until the end of December. CATHERINE VALENTE