Manila (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on May 26 that he was willing to hold dialogue with the Maute rebels, which have been fighting the Government’s military for three days in Marawi city on Mindanao island.
He said an ongoing siege by Muslim radicals in the southern city demonstrated that Islamic State (IS) had a presence in the Philippines, but there was still a chance for peace.
In a speech to soldiers in Iligan city, close to Marawi, the President said that his message mainly to the terrorists on the other side is they can still solve this through dialogue.
The Maute rebel group has besieged Marawi city, the capital of Lanao Del Sur province, since May 23 when the Government’s military was conducting a security campaign.
President Duterte declared martial law, saying the Maute group tried to establish a "daesh" or so-called Islamic State province in Marawi city when they laid siege to the capital of Lanao Del Sur.
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