In his article in 'The Duran', Adam Garrie, a UK political commentator enumerated five possible explanations why the ISIS chose Philippines the next country to attack.
1. Duterte was on the verge of creating peace with Philippine Moros (Muslim) Garrie said, “Unlike the Philippine political elite, President Duterte is a native of Mindanao. He promised existing Muslim insurgent groups that in order to create a lasting peace which builds upon the 2014 Bangsamoro peace process, he would propose a federal structure for the country, thus giving all regions a measure of self-rule. Failing that, he promised to grant Muslim areas known as Bangsamoro, formal autonomy.”
According to him, President Duterte has been a critic of the US Foreign Policy especially to the Muslim community. In this sense Duterte seem to build up the morale of the Muslims and gained their respect. He said that the ISIS have an idea of losing a possible base if the peace process between the government and the rebels was sealed and there is no doubt that the Duterte’s administration was “capable” of achieving the peace agreement between the two.
2. Duterte Has Shifted Historical Philippine Geo-political Alignments The President has been on his own way of reconciling smooth relationships with China and then established strong ties with Russia, according to Garrie’s observation. The two superpower nations once tied with the Philippines, there will be a change in regional balance of power and a global balance of power. “ISIS know full well that Russia has helped to thwart their advances in Syria. They saw another country they could create havoc in and they pounced,” he added.
3. Duterte Targeted ISIS Drug Revenue “ISIS have been rapidly monopolizing the global narcotics trade from opium smuggling in Afghanistan (said to be worth £1 billion per year), to the European drugs network run by Albanian organized criminals to cultivating drug dealing networks in Africa and even Latin America. By targeting drugs in Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte was targeting one of the major cash cows of ISIS. ISIS clearly knows the value of the Dollar.” In relation to this, the President declared during his campaign to fully exterminate drug dealers, drug syndicates or personalities, regardless of his race and nationality. The President stood up its promise and enforced immediately the government’s all-out war against drugs.
4. Duterte Is A Democratic Man of The People According to Garrie, ISIS gained loyalty from poop people. He said that due to corrupt government the Philippines has suffered in poverty, especially in Mindanao. Duterte promised a dramatic change for every Filipino especially an ‘equal and fair society’ and once this promise was fulfilled, the ISIS will have difficulty in convincing the people and might lose their charisma to the distressed citizens.
5. ISIS Has Strange Bed Fellows “There is no black conspiracy but rather an open one against leaders like Assad and Duterte. If someone has policies that are popular but anti-liberal (in the western sense), the western liberal NGOs and governments and corporations will seek vengeance. When one looks at who funds ISIS, it is no wonder that they are on the same page.”
He said that Duterte’s anti drug ops ad terrorism was in contrary to the western nations. Garrie said that even Pres. Trump is a friend of Duterte, but the US foreign policy which was controlled by ‘neo-liberal globalist’ is not in good terms with Duterte. They support the ISIS.
In the midst of all these, Garrie said that “Duterte was a prime target all along.”