The New York Times, perennial thorn in Duterete's side, has given him another prick.
A president who has focused on a deadly antidrug campaign that has claimed the lives of thousands of Filipinos seems to have been caught unprepared for a militant threat that has been festering in the south for years.
“The government has largely been in denial about the growth of ISIS and affiliated groups,” said Zachary M. Abuza, a professor at the National War College in Washington who specializes in Southeast Asian security issues. “Duterte has been preoccupied with his campaign of gutting the rule of law by using police and other security forces for the extrajudicial killing of drug pushers.”
This is a half-truth. While it's true the AFP has been caught with its pants down even though they have been battling Muslims terrorist groups for the the past few decades, Duterte was fully aware of the growing threat of ISIS.
Duterte knew full well the threat of ISIS. The man is from Mindanao. He is no fool. But tucked deep in that New York Times article is the key to the whole matter.
Historic grievances among the Muslim Moro people there, widespread poverty and large lawless areas have helped create an opportunity for the Islamic State. A peace process pursued by Mr. Duterte’s predecessor, President Benigno S. Aquino III, faltered in 2015 and has remained deadlocked under Mr. Duterte.
“It was not the spread of ISIS in Iraq and Syria that fueled ISIS cells in the Philippines, but the collapse of the peace process,” said Mr. Abuza of the National War College.
The peace process has failed. And it has failed on purpose. Duterte was never going give the Muslims Mindanao. The BBL would destroy Philippine sovereignty in the region. Besides that the Muslims have killed too many innocents over the years for any sane man to give them the large island of Mindanao. The Day of Reckoning must come for the Muslims who have spilled rivers of blood over the years.
Duterte said in 2015 before he entered the presidential race that he would run a a dictatorship.
He said in January 2017 that he would declare marital law if he wanted too.
And this is EXACTLY what he did in May.
It's not such a convoluted plan. Duterte initiated a phoney peace process with the communists and the Muslims and let the ISIS problem grow until the inevitable turning point came when it all descended into chaos and he would have moral authority to declare martial law. It's what he said he would do before he even entered the presidential race. It's what he said he would do in January 2017. And now that martial law is in Mindanao it is not going anywhere anytime soon.
I have written a longer and more detailed history of this plan that can be read here: http://philippinefails.blogspot.com/2017/06/martial-law-was-always-dutertes-plan.html
Please read through that article and realise that for Duterte, marital law was always the plan.