A Path to Dictatorship in the Philippines – President Duterte soliciting assistance from Muslim rebel groups, and communist insurgent groups, to fight against IS-affiliates (atimes.com)

by Richard Javad Heydarian

„Until the armed forces and the police say that the Philippines is safe, this martial law will continue,“ Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said during a crisis management visit to Mindanao, suddenly the epicenter of terror group Islamic State“s thrust into Southeast Asia.

. . . Duterte has repeatedly warned he may extend martial law beyond his home island of Mindanao across the entire country if Islamic militants strike other areas.

. . . The comments also likely aimed to strike fear into the hearts of his opponents, namely the Islamic State affiliated groups which have laid a bloody siege to the city of Marawi. . . .

The government is perturbed by reports that foreign fighters, possibly even from the Middle East but definitely from neighboring Indonesia, Malaysia and even Singapore, have been involved in the Marawi clashes. . . .

As the first Filipino president from Mindanao, Duterte is under extraordinary pressure to not only eliminate the threat of IS infiltration into the Philippines, but also to end the conflict in his home island, . . .

Duterte is now focused on soliciting assistance from other major rebel groups, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front, and communist insurgent groups, to fight against IS-affiliates like Maute Group and the Abu Sayaff Group, both involved in the Marawi city siege.

The government has peace deals in place with MNLF and MILF, Islamic groups that would on the surface appear to be natural allies with IS-affiliated militant groups. . . .
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