Philippine military in Mindanao (Source: ​Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Philippine Congress on December 13 has approved the one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao Island, aiming to completely eradicate terrorists and rebels in the country’s southern region.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on December 11 asked the Congress to extend martial law in the southern island of Mindanao by the end of 2018 to continue tracking down Islamic militants.

The extension is necessary to prevent pro-IS militants’ uprisings again in Mindanao, he suggested in the letter sent to the country’s lawmakers.

The military rule was declared in Mindanao on May 23 in response to attacks by terrorists of Islamic groups in the city of Marawi. The martial law is limited to 60 days by the 1987 Constitution, but an extension was issued until December 31.

Long-running battles between the Philippine government and Maute terror group in Marawi city claimed about 1,000 lives and displaced 500,000 people.

Although Marawi city has been liberated, the Philippine army warned that the group remains a threat to the region as its militants are seeking new members.-VNA