Philippine president calls for hunting of communists, ‘massacre’ ensues

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President Rodrigo Duterte launched a campaign Friday targeting everyone he classifies as “communist rebels.”

By Sunday, 9 people were dead in raids by the military and police in what Vice President Leni Robredo, who is Duterte’s rival, called a “massacre” that needs to be cleared up.

Opponents fear the president, who is famous for saying, “Kill them,” when ordering persecutions of drug dealers, is using his declaration of persecuting rebelling communists as a way to silence vocal critics and activists who now say they fear for their lives.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Islamist Militants Seize Philippines City

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After a siege that began yesterday, the militants gained control of Marawi, a city of 200,000 in the south of the country.

President Duterte spoke publicly of how anyone who fought against the government would fare, saying, “You will die.”

Duterte declared martial law in the south yesterday. He said he will extend martial law to the rest of the country if the militants expand.

Islamist militant communities have long been a problem for the Philippines, although mostly confined to the south.

Duterte Orders Preparations: ‘Whether you like it or not, the new war coming is Terrorism’

philippines islamsist groups
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called the “War on Terror” the “new battle government should prepare for.”

“There will be wars. We have to prepare for Terrorism. Whether you like it or not, the new war coming is ‘Terrorism,’” said Duterte at a press conference this week.

Terrorist groups are expanding from traditional battlegrounds to new areas, including the Philippines, said Duterte. “Their world, their battleground in the Middle East, keeps getting smaller and smaller,” but the same impetus is motivating actions around the world, he said.

ISIS has recognized a number of Philippines Islamist jihadist groups.

The Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) also held their first conference of 2017 this week, focussing on the destruction of local and international terrorist groups operating in the country. The top priority, according to officials, is to quash groups like Abu Sayyaf multi-group and others on the islands, which includes enhancing engagement with stakeholder communities, including local and religious leaders. The AFP is balancing this project with two other main projects: the peace process with the Communist Party and the War on Drugs.

Duterte’s Narco List Contains Around 10,000 Government Officials and Others

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Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo said today that a list of “around 10,000 names” is being readied for submission to the Philippines’ National Security Council by President Rodrigo Duterte.

“There are about 5,000 to 10,000 people involved. They are government officials — captains, mayors, governors, members of the military and prosecutors,” Panelo told the Philippines’ ABS-CBN news.

“I saw the folder, and it was more than one foot … one foot high.”

Panelo admitted that the number was high, and confirmed that the list was validated.

He said that what was most important in the move to submit the list was the “implications of the fact that there are about 10,000 people, government officials, involved, and that means that the magnitude as well as the depth of the dragnet is so much, so huge, that the public safety is now in danger.”

In his war on drugs, the president is considering suspending habaes corpus in the name of public security in order to “pick up” offenders and detain them, denying them what would otherwise be their right to question in court any unlawful detention. Duterte’s policy, however, is to refrain from sending police to arrest the people on the list “unless those people [do not] voluntarily submit themselves … .”

The president may submit his list to the NSC before the end of November, Panelo said. “According to the president … he wants those people arrested.”