Philippine President Duterte declared martial law on Marawi, Mindanao after attacks by Muslim militants who claim affiliation with ISIS, resulting in 44 deaths.
The Philippines is mostly a Catholic country with a population of 100-million people, and Muslims are a small minority. The rebels claim ties with ISIS, but Muslim separatists have been battling the government for many years. Philippine officials and the military don’t believe the terror group has any actual foothold in the country but is capitalizing on ISIS’ ruthless reputation to win influence and push ahead its own agenda of a separate Islamic state.
An article from The Last American Vagabond revealed that the takeover by Daesh, also known as ISIS, came hours after President Duterte gave an interview with RT in which he criticized the US and said that the CIA wants to destabilize his country. While Duterte is friendly with Trump, he says that Congress, the State Department, and other US agencies are not supporting his fight against terrorism. The US quashed an arms deal with Duterte, and so now he is seeking alliances and weapons from China and Russia.
Duterte expressed concern that the CIA could assassinate him as he seeks closer ties with Russia and China.
Duterte claims that most of the active Daesh/ ISIS militants are foreigners and describes them as “Caucasian-looking” from the Middle East.
The US has used ISIS to meddle in Syria and may be using this model to overthrow Duterte. The US will likely use Daesh/ ISIS justification for increasing its military presence in the Philippines and thwart its relationships with China and Russia.
CNN published an article in August 2016 in which Duterte expressed concern that white Arabs who use communist tactics would spread the “disease of ISIS”. He said that unarmed white ‘missionaries’, whom he supposed were Arabs, came to Mindanao for indoctrination purposes. He compared the missionaries to communists who seek to influence public opinion and then bring in their political officers to convert this influence into state power.