The Philippine security forces in Mindanao (Source: AP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on May 24 he might declare martial law in the entire nation, after imposing military rules in the southern region of Mindanao to combat Islamic terrorists.

Speaking to the press upon his arrival from the Russia trip, Duterte said he is considering martial law in Visayas in central Philippines, as this region is very close to Mindanao.

He then also raised the prospect of Luzon in the north, which is home to the capital of Manila, falling under martial law.

The President said if the IS has already set foot in Luzon, it means terrorism is not really far, adding that he might declare martial law throughout the country to protect the people.

Previously on May 23, the Philippine President announced martial law throughout Mindanao after the Islamic terrorists attacked local police, causing many injuries.

Clashes erupted in Marawi the same day when security forces raided a house in search of the leader of the Abu Sayyaf militia, Isnilon Hapilon.

Over 100 militants responded to the raid by starting fires and riots. They also seized a priest at a Catholic church in Marawi.-VNA