Politics is a numbers game. The propaganda team and supporters of President Duterte keep on repeating that 16.6 million people voted for him for president. But that is NOT even a majority vote. Mr. Duterte got only 39.01% of the electoral votes. MORE people voted AGAINST him. Ex-President Aquino got a much bigger percentage — 42.08%– of the people’s votes. And he won on a bigger spread over his rival ex Pres. Estrada – 42.08% over 26.25% – as compared to Duterte’s win over Mar Roxas: 39.01% over 23.45%. The two presidents previous to Mr. Aquino also got more percentage votes than Mr. Duterte. Ex-President Arroyo got 39.99% and ex-Pres. Estrada got 39.86%. So what in the world is Mr. Duterte so proud of???!!!
And his peace and security policies? After only one year in office, he created a lot of havoc — tens of thousands killed and wounded and hundreds of thousands displaced. And of course, nothing can top the Rape of Marawi — the destruction of a city, billions of dollars worth of buildings and infrastructure destroyed, and billions of pesos looted by the soldiers from the houses of the residents of the city who were forced to leave their homes due to the proclamation of Martial Law, the orders of the provincial leaders and the threat of aerial bombing.
The economic numbers are not good, too.
And the value of the peso keeps on sliding down relative to the US dollar (the value of the US dollar keeps on going up):
Yet other Asian currencies are doing very well against the US dollar!
So who are those people saying that Philippine economy is doing great?! With the prices of goods and services going up due to the new tax regime, the poorer fans of Mr. Duterte might just abandon their idol if they can’t make both ends meet for their families.
The President has such an idiotic Maute/ISIS narrative. In the first place, nobody let the Mautes in Lanao. They live there. They are real Maranaos not like the President who claims to be a Maranao, too.
Most Moros do not love the Philippines. They have been living under endless tyranny, as one popular book on Moros has for its title. To have an ideology that is pro-Islam and anti-Filipino nationhood is quite common in Mindanao. MILF and MNLF are both pro-Islam and anti-Filipino nationhood, just like the Abu Sayyaf Group, if they have any ideology at all.
How and why the Mautes managed to get a lot of arms and ammunition, without the strict military knowing them is another question. Most probably, he bought those ammo from the military. Didn’t the Oakwood putsch leaders said that the military was selling arms to the Moro groups?
Why did the Mautes need to arm themselves? Could it be because they have personal quarrel with the soldiers in Marawi? It is not easy to have quarrel with soldiers. They had to protect themselves.
Are they ISIS? They want to be. They probably applied, in order to protect themselves from the soldiers. But even during the first day of this Crisis, the military spokesman kept on repeating that there was no ISIS in Mindanao and everything was UNDER CONTROL.
Atty, now Congressman, Harry Roque said in a TV interview, that he was in Russia with the Philippine team when the Marawi Crisis happened. He was in a bar or restaurant with all the Military / Intelligence team of the President before the President had an emergency meeting with them. Cong. Roque said that all these military/intelligence top officials affirmed that there was NO ISIS in the Philippines, and everything was UNDER CONTROL. After the President’s meeting with them, Duterte declared that ISIS attacked Marawi. He then declared Martial Law.
Did the President have information unknown to the top brass of the military and intelligence corps?
With the Martial Law declaration, the Marawi and Lanao provincial officials became inutile, They were powerless. Even if they could fight off the Maute, as one Marawi official claimed, they could not do so because the military might fire on them.
The people of Marawi, fearing that aerial strikes like the one in Butig might be done in Marawi, they ran for lives lives — evacuated Marawi. The Maranaos did not know that they fell right into the Evil Plan of the government.
A group of a dozen or so snipers can very well hold a territory for days on end, esp. if they know the territory much better than the enemy.
And sacrificing its own soldiers, the Philippine government reduced Marawi City to smithereens.
They put up narratives after narratives. The Abu Sayyaf Group led by Hapilon, the old friend of the military, was supposed to have formed an alliance with the Maute family to form ISIS, with Hapilon as the “Amir”.
There’s even a video of Hapilon and the Mautes discussing their plan to attack Marawi. The video was good enough to be a scene from a Pinoy telenovela. But only idiots will believe that terrorists will record on video their plans to attack a city. And of course, that video should be easily discoverable by the military.
And what happened to the old friend of the military, Kumander Hapilon? He was supposed to have left Marawi, and then returned to Marawi. How could he do that when Marawi was and still is under siege by the military? And where is he now?
Oh by the way, by all news accounts on the first day of this crisis, there were just around 50 Maute members in Marawi. Now, there are hundreds of them. Pretty soon, there will be thousands and thousands of them.
Oh, by the way, Mr. Duterte said that he and the Presidential Security Guard saw a group of his relatives on their way to Marawi to help the Mautes. THEY WERE NOT ARRESTED! They even talked to their relative, Mr. President himself!
So, what narrative was that then? Is the President creating the narrative that there are more people coming to Marawi to help the Mautes? But wait, they can only enter Marawi with the consent/ help of the military! Even Marawi officials themselves could not enter Marawi!
The MILF and the Abu Sayyaf had attacked the military before, killed a lot of soldiers, some were even beheaded. But no Moro city was destroyed.
At the start of this Crisis, no one was killed except for one of the Mautes, as claimed by the military. The military through their spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, claimed that they started the conflict with their attempt to arrest Hapilion. The AFP claimed that the Maute gang’s activity was just a “diversion” to distract the military operation against Hapilon. AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Año said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines was “in full control of Marawi, adding there are less than 50 Maute members scattered in the city” (from CNN Philippines). (Note: Looks like the page from CNN Philippines has been updated and the quote was removed, probably to agree more with the Philippine government/media narrative. – Editor)
THERE WAS NO LOGICAL REASON TO DESTROY A CITY. There was even no reason to declare Martial Law. A group of 50 thugs, even with high-powered guns, could not be considered rebellion. The Philippines already recognize two legitimate Moro rebel groups, the MNLF and MILF and one Communist rebel group, the CPP/NDF/NPA. And then there’s the kidnap-for-ransom gang, CIA/AFP-created Abu Sayyaf Group. Why didn’t the Philippine government declared Martial Law when these rebels attacked?
The FAULT IN THE DESTRUCTION OF MARAWI LIES SOLELY ON DUTERTE AND HIS GOVERNMENT.