Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine Supreme Court on July 4 upheld the martial law declared by President Rodrigo Duterte in the southern region, while the country has been fighting against militants who have links to the self-claimed Islamic State (IS).

Speaking with reporters, Theodore Te, spokesman of the Philippine Supreme Court said a majority of the judges ruled to dismiss the petitions of the opposition lawmakers, without citing a specific reason.

The statement was made after opposition lawmakers petitioned the court to review and nullify President Duterte’s decision.

On May 23, Duterte declared martial law for 60 days in Marawi city on Mindanao island after IS-linked extremists besieged some areas of the city and caused ongoing violence.

To date, more than 460 people were killed in Marawi clashes, including 300 militants, dozens of soldiers and civilians. Besides, nearly 40,000 people had to leave their houses in Marawi and neighbouring areas for evacuation.

After President Duterte made an announcement to likely continue the martial law for 60 days more, Philippine Secretary of Defence Delfin Lorenzana on July 3 said the country’s security agencies have been evaluated the situation in Mindanao to make the final decision.

The Government will support people to rebuild areas which were destroyed by blasts and air raids, including residential houses, malls, and banks, Lorenzana added.-VNA