President Rodrigo Roa Duterte takes time to appreciate the painting of his portrait which was presented to him in Malacañan Palace on December 5, 2017 (Source: philstar.com)

 Hanoi (VNA) – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on December 11 asked Congress to extend martial law in the southern island of Mindanao by the end of 2018 to continue tracking down Islamic terrorists.

The extension of the military rule on the island is necessary to prevent pro-IS militants uprising again in Mindanao, he suggested in the letter sent to the country’s lawmakers.

“I ask the Congress of the Philippines to further extend the proclamation of Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in the whole of Mindanao for a period of one year, from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018,” he wrote.

The Philippine Congress schedules to vote on the request for martial law extension this week.

The military rule was declared in Mindanao on May 23 in response to attacks by terrorists of Islamic groups in the southern city of Marawi. -VNA