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With the likelihood of violence in Marawi City spilling over into the Visayas and Luzon, President Duterte said yesterday he might expand the coverage of his martial law declaration for Mindanao to include the entire country.

If there is a first casualty in the ongoing fighting between government forces and the Islamic State (IS)-inspired Maute group, it is the truth.

A parish priest, his two helpers and 10 parishioners in Marawi City were taken hostage by the Islamic State-inspired Maute group during novena prayers Tuesday night, it was learned yesterday.

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Government forces flushed out Maute group militants from their positions in Marawi City last night, leaving at least 21 people dead and 31 wounded, officials said.

The Moro National Liberation Front is not affected by the declaration of martial law in Mindanao because it is not involved in the armed uprising in Marawi City and other parts of the region, a ranking official of the group said yesterday.

Courts throughout Mindanao will remain open despite the region’s being placed under martial law by President Duterte in response to an outbreak of hostilities in Marawi City perpetrated by the Maute terror group.

Vehicles packed with evacuees clog the 35-kilometer Marawi-Iligan highway. Those without vehicles are fleeing the city on foot, their children and meager belongings in tow.

It was a meeting that nearly didn’t materialize. But Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly adjusted his schedule to talk with President Duterte Tuesday night in Moscow.

Administration allies in the “super majority” in Congress are expected to affirm President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao.

Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos yesterday to cooperate and support the military and the government in resolving the crisis in Mindanao.

Public satisfaction with the Duterte administration remained “very good” at +66 in the first quarter of the year, the Social Weather Stations' latest survey showed.

Local businessmen yesterday lauded President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao as part of his swift actions to address the situation in Marawi City despite admitting that doing so would impact businesses there.

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union yesterday visited Sen. Leila de Lima at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame where she has been detained since February on drug-related charges.

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