Philippines rules out talks with Islamic rebels

The Philippine government is sticking to its policy of no negotiating with the extremists allied with the Islamic State who overran Marawi City in the southern Philippines, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters on Tuesday.

Abella said a request from the extremists' leader last Sunday to negotiate for the release of 150 hostages in the besieged city on the occasion of the Islamic holiday Eid-al-Fitr was rejected by the government and the military. He stressed the need to punish the extremists who have wreaked havoc in the southern Philippines and caused more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.

Source: VOV5