The response of President Duterte to an ISIS-led siege in the city of Marawi is a no-brainer. Past presidents made the same decision to contain the damage and protect the countrymen—a classic and the most used reasoning worn-out by times and old-fashioned by leaders compelled by the existing state of affairs.
But who would have the gall to believe President Duterte could make up stories, and Marawi siege was only a staged conflict, and victims were but sacrificial lambs?
Wouldn’t you rather believe that this ISIS-led Marawi siege could be a part of this group’s global attack, would you dare so?
As ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an extremist militant group) has been losing its ground in the Middle East, and as Muslim brothers are mostly dense in the Southern Philippines, does it follow the notion that this group has been expected so highly likely to launch an attack in a timing so perfect with regards to President Duterte’s official visit to Russia? We knew that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, vowed to “step up their fight against terror” following the assassination of Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.
If we buy this line of a notion, then the entry of ISIS-linked to the Philippines isn’t done overnight! They must have been gaining entry to the country and been living with us even before Marcos declared martial law though the rise of ISIS can be traced back early in 2004, post-Marcos’ martial law. But remember that ISIS’ number one enemy is the United States of America and its allies. Communism in the Philippines was brought about by America’s imperialism that the discontented proletariat or the working class made that struggle untiring and continuing. With their common denominator, we can only see just a fraction of the tip of the iceberg.
Disintegrate, Diversify, and Vary
This may be like patching things up? Like seeking a unification with another network having parallel struggle and the same pursuit to patch things up to form right, center, and left, or even the extremes. By nomenclature, these networks had become so successful in making alliances to cloak their identities of their undergrounds (UGs), creating confusions and differences.
This strategy doesn’t mean to a conclusion that different names, one central underground. Other networks take cover by using the identity of other networks to get things done. The rest may stage events to diversify, extract, and decoy. Sacrificial lambs, most commonly civilians and their members, remain as the integral elements.
Marawi siege is no big different from the rest conflicts and instability brought about by different Muslim insurgent groups Mindanao had experienced through times—MNLF, MILF, BIFM, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiah, NPA or the communist insurgents across the country, and now ISIS-linked group. Different groups yet some evolved from the same parent group though with different breakaway reasons.
It cannot be ignored that these elements or groups have their own vested interest. It may be for power, autonomy or outright control, recognition or representation in politics and in business to be legitimized, and worst to stay in power or outright greed.
Duterte Martial Law, a Mind Conditioning?
His war on drugs has constantly been reaping negative criticisms despite being lauded by some leaders from the superpower countries. For me, this time again, Duterte’s war on drugs is delusional, because of one apparent reason: it has long been running as the business of gods that ran the world.
His ambition to shift the present unitary presidential constitutional republic form of government to federalism is expected to pass through a difficult, tortuous road. Despite overwhelming numbers in Congress expected to support his version of federalism, that same numbers may be distrustful or worst just mere silhouette.
President Duterte asked the Congress to expedite federalism as what he believed the only cure for Mindanao conflicts. The president has kept on repeating that he would not hesitate to declare martial law when time demands it. He also warned us, quoted by CNN, “Whether you like it or not, the new war coming is terrorism.”
Now that President Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law, following the ISIS-linked group attacked Marawi City, we cannot help but have a second thought about the veracity of siege in Marawi and the legitimacy of his intention or purpose to declare as such.
Really the siege wasn’t a staged event after all? Is placing the entire Mindanao under the martial law may not be all part of President Duterte’s strategy on mental conditioning to prepare the country for a full-blown martial law that may pave the way to his federalism ambition?
Given his wide margin of supports from the people who continued trusting and believing President Duterte, declaring martial law for him would be as easy as ABC despite subject to congressional approval and judicial review. He could make up events if he wanted it to happen. He could stage left and right assaults or strategic attacks across the country, given that he has all the resources to stage as such. He has all the machinery that oppositions have all the reason to think of.
On the other hand, it could also be the oppositions’ move to conspire Duterte administration to push President Duterte against the wall, prompting him to declare martial law. In doing so, people would start pulling out their supports to the president, since the memories of Marcos’ martial law had caused a widespread, massive, present and grave danger to life, liberty, and security of the entire country.
But, will this move succeed?
Greed for power could be the reason behind the ISIS-led siege in Marawi City. Or it could also be a retaliation from the ISIS group as a consequence of the Philippines’s move to start building a relationship with Russia and China. If the latter would be considered as the reason behind the Marawi siege, then we would be constrained to figure out easily the missing texts on the redacted declassified CIA report made in August 2012[*] and be forced to believe that America contributed most to the rise of ISIS!
Despite receiving positive feedback from the U.S. President Donald Trump on the president’s intensified war on drugs, it should not be taken at its face value. America is greatest among the greats in the classic unite-divide-and-rule strategy.▲
[*] Accessed through http://www.judicialwatch.org via www.theguardian.com (Now the Truth Emerges: How the US Fuelled the Rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq by Seumas Milne)