Martial law in Mindanao would not be lifted until the government has neutralized all the terrorists in the region, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.
"When the time came, I declared martial law. Everybody is asking when will it stop? It will not stop until the last terrorist is taken out," Duterte said at the 43rd PHL Business Conference and Expo.
Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the ISIS-inspired Maute group attacked Marawi City on May 22.
Congress granted his request that martial law be extended until December 31.
Duterte on Tuesday declared Marawi had been freed from the terrorists after some five months of fighting to mark the start of the rehabilitation phase.
This was after Abu Sayyaf subleader and supposed emir of the ISIS in Southeast Asia Isnilon Hapilon and Maute leader Omar Maute were killed on Monday.
Despite the announcement, troops were still pursuing around 20 terrorists including alleged siege financer Dr. Mahmud Ahmad, a Malaysian national, who was believed to be killed in a recent operation in Marawi. —NB, GMA News