Philippines eyes greater regulation of Islamic schools

The Philippine defense secretary says authorities there will standardize teaching in both public and private Islamic schools in the wake of a militant siege last year that raised fears of greater radicalization in the country.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Sunday said the country will implement an "institutionalized madrassa system" with standard curriculum and greater oversight from the Department of Education.

Lorenzana said some such schools were found to be run by Muslims with extremist beliefs, making them funnels for the discreet funding of radical activities.

Lorenzana was addressing a security conference in Singapore attended by U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, defense officials and academics from 43 countries.

A five-month siege of the city of Marawi last year left more than 1,100 people dead and 200,000 displaced.