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Peace negotiations between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) were suspended anew yesterday due to the continuous attacks by rebel forces against government troops in the countryside.

As the fighting between government forces and gunmen of the Islamic State-inspired Maute group entered its fifth day, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Eduardo Año predicted the military operation will take about a week as soldiers go house to house to clear Marawi City of militants.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana yesterday assured the communists that they are not included in the target list of the martial law implementation in Mindanao.

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At least 30 construction workers trapped by Islamic State-inspired Maute militants in Marawi City yesterday appealed to the Armed Forces for immediate rescue.

An administration lawmaker wants the House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry on the “true state” of rice buffer stock or inventory in warehouses following the government’s plan to import the staple.

More senators have joined a call for the holding of a joint session that would tackle President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao and express Congress’ stance on the issue.

A “murderous thug” is what former US presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton called President Duterte on social media after the latter uttered yet another rape joke while addressing soldiers in Iligan City on Friday.

The military unleashed heavy firepower – including guided rockets fired from helicopters – for the first time yesterday on Maute positions in Marawi City in a bid to end the siege by the terror group once and for all.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is monitoring reports of censorship threats and instances of warrantless arrest following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao as Marawi City is under siege by the Maute terror group.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has expressed full support for the Philippines following the terrorist attack in Marawi City that prompted President Duterte to declare martial law in the whole of Mindanao.

MOSCOW – The Philippines and Russia vowed to contribute to efforts to maintain peace and development in the Asia-Pacific as Moscow seeks closer ties with countries in the region.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is stepping up its response to help the residents of Marawi City trapped in the fighting between government forces and extremists since Tuesday.

Catholic bishops of Mindanao have admitted they had no valid reason to reject the declaration of martial law but stressed its enforcement should only be temporary.

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