The Philippines’ tough talking president, Rodrigo Duterte, has declared martial law in the southern Island of Mindanao, and he’s threatened to extend it throughout the entire country. Duterte made the declaration as fighting raged in the city of Marawi between security forces and a group of Islamist militants who have pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. Islamist militancy has been gaining strength as a peace process wavers in Mindanao, as we reported just over a year ago. The warnings came quickly. Many asked why Duterte had enforced martial law in all of Mindanao rather than confining it to the area where fighting was taking place. Others heard echoes of Ferdinand Marcos, who ruled as a brutal dictator from 1972 to 1981 after declaring martial law – especially since Duterte promised that his version would “not be any different from what the president, Marcos, did. I’d be harsh.” Duterte’s words were particularly chilling in the wake of the about 7,000 people killed since he declared a war against drugs almost a year ago. Under the constitution, martial law can be imposed for 60 days. The coming days and weeks may give an indication of whether Duterte plans to extend or expand it, and whether there is a danger that the Philippines could slip back into autocracy.