Martial Law Keeping Calm in Restive Philippine South
A second year of martial law in parts of the Philippines is squelching any comeback by violent Muslim insurgents after a civil war, despite earlier fears that the order would also curb common people’s freedoms, witnesses say. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte extended martial law through 2018 after declaring it in May 2017 so troops and national police could fight rebels in Marawi, a mountainous, largely Muslim city in the south. The law covers all of Mindanao, home to Marawi and about one-fifth of the Philippine population and a hotbed for armed insurgency since the 1960s. A network of road checkpoints outside major cities, permission for authorities to frisk people without warrants and evening-to-morning curfews have helped troops throttle further violence by Muslim rebels without routine harassment of common people, said Eduardo Araral, a Mindanao native and associate professor at the National University of Singapore’s public policy school. “That (law) could...
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