Philippines’ Tempest in Teapot Could Explode

May 27, 2017 – Manila – The Skirmish could become Civil War if Duterte’s Martial Law runs a year as he threatens. Women and children are in extreme danger in this country and will need international assistance if not intervention.

MILF, Maute, and Abu Sayyaf (ISIS) are in Mindanao – Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s Troops are Stirring Up The Small Groups, an act which Pushed up ‘Radical’ Recruiting

The consensus among this global humanitarian group is that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was not correct nor justified in declaring Martial Law in Mindanao and telling troops he will provide impunity for their raping up to three women each.

The Philippines heretofore has been of little interest to the Cabinet of the Islamic State despite the grandiose declaration of authoritarian leader Rodrigo Duterte who says his country is being invaded. That statement is categorically untrue at this time. The unrest comes from a nest of militants stirred up in the past six months by Philippines and American troops loyal to Rodrigo Duterte.

Whereas it may be true that in Mindanao there may be Maylay and Indonesian Muslim extremists of considerable destructive talent, they have been in the country for years.

There are several thousand US troops at five bases in the Philippines. In the conflict zone there are 107 American special forces troops operating remotely piloted surveillance and weapons drones. It is not certain how effective these so called “advisors” have been. So far they have not been able to find any Abu Sayyaf hostages which were eventually beheaded by Abu Sayyaf.

The Connection between Philippines Muslim Radicals and Islamic State is Murky at Best

Abu Sayyaf pitched ISIS for years but the small breakaway Maute group which splintered away from the peaceful Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)  is unknown to the Islamic State Cabinet.

Philippines soldiers have been antagonizing the small local Abu Sayyaf and Maute Islamic extremist groups for months. At the urging of the United States, something that once left Filipinos massacred in the Mamasapano  Clash*, Philippines soldiers loyal to Duterte attempted to arrest a person wanted by the USA, one of Abu Sayyaf’s leaders, Isnilon Hapilon, plus some leaders of the Maute Group.

*Mamasapano clash was an incident that occurred during a police operation, codenamed Oplan Exodus, which took place on Sunday, January 25, 2015, at Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao, by Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) (allegedly joined by United States Army Special Forces) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The operation was intended to capture or kill wanted Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli Abdhir and other Malaysian terrorists or high-ranking members of the BIFF. Forty-Four or more Filipinos were slaughtered.

To Duterte’s 2017 attacks, the Islamist extremists responded with everything they had, about 150 fighters with maybe another hundred in reserve. After Duterte announced the state of Martial Law from Moscow, the Islamic militants flew into action, took hostages in Marawi City and demanded that they be given free passage from the area in exchange for the hostages.

Marawi City © Google Maps

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) sees the Mindanao region of the Philippines as being religiously Muslim and autonomous. It is verily isolated from the rest of the country which is Roman Catholic. MILF is not currently active in the current skirmish.

Tempest in a Tea Pot?

The RINJ Foundation adduces that feeble attacks by the Philippines Army against Islamists in the south of the Philippines for the past six months and declaring Martial Law has exponentially driven up recruitment for the 150-member aggregate of Abu Sayyaf/Maute to several hundred fighters, still not enough to warrant declaring Martial Law.

The Islamic State Caliphate will now pay attention to the Philippines thanks to Duterte’s sensational grasp at attention ‘getture’.

Dae’esh will exploit and welcome the diversion Duterte has offered as a distraction to the pummeling ISIS is taking in Syria and Iraq. It will use the ill-advised diversion to help it regroup.

In fact, the Da’esh (Islamic State) Cabinet showed disdain for the past efforts of the Abu Sayyaf which at first mustered no more than 35 members, half of whom were women and children.

Caliphate Showed Little interest in The Past

Today, according to sources in Iraq, there are no more than two persons from the Islamic State’s Syria and Iraq groups in the Philippines and because of the enormous cultural differences and the stress the group is under from the US Coalition, that’s likely all anyone will see.

In total the aggregate of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf there are only 150 core fighters. Recent growth thanks to Duterte’s method of annoying but not arresting the group, the numbers of the two might have reached 400. They will continue to grow as the number of angry Muslims under Martial Law increases to 20+ million.

Abu Sayyaf’s activities heretofore have been focused on raising money.

Abu Sayyaf members and supporters kidnap and ransom anyone for whom they think they can obtain money. Generally speaking they make their money from a wide range of crime including child slavery.

The Abu Sayyaf have brutally killed, as they were trained to do, numerous civilian tourists including two Canadians in early 2016.

Duterte’s military actions against the groups in the past 6 months have drawn volunteers like a magnet. The numbers are swelling at a colossal rate and current estimates a total fighting strength of 400 troops, many of whom are children.

Da’esh does not supply resources nor money to the Philippines by any stretch of imagination.

The Abu Sayyaf and the Maute groups are homespun and are pretty much on their own, relying on help from Jihadist supporters in Malaysia and a small number from Indonesia. Soon they will draw from millions of disenchanted Muslims in Mindanao who have lost their rights to Martial Law.

Da’esh fighters leaving Syria and Iraq are passing through Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Lebanon into other Middle East nations and both East and West Europe. They are in big trouble and have little time nor money for helping the South East Asians whom they encourage however to become self sufficient, and have taught them how.

Notwithstanding this, many well-trained demolition experts from Malaysia and Indonesia have been in the Mindanao region for years.

Duterte who needed an insurrection of some kind to implement Martial Law and cement his durability in office in the face of several international law enforcement regimes wanting his hide in jail, has poked and prodded two small Islamic fundamentalist groups into action.

The Abu Sayyaf and the Maute splinter of MILF are together enjoying stupendous publicity and can now draw recruits from over 25 million people, many of whom are unemployed.

Abu Sayyaf Came To The Caliphate

At some point in 2015 three members of the Abu Sayyaf group were observed in Mosul, Iraq by the security team assigned to protection of nurses and doctors of the RINJ Foundation medical clinics.

The Abu Sayyaf parties were considered visiting VIPS because they attended as Da’esh guests at the Warinth Hotel, formerly the Mosul International Hotel, north west of Mosul University, close to the Tigris River.

Only one Abu Sayyaf member returned back to the Philippines as far as we know.

The Abu Sayyaf group from Mindanao region of the Philippines made two attempts at creating a signature promotional video (PV) for the Philippines group.

The first attempt was rejected by Abu Mohammad al-Adnani in early to mid-2015. It was extremely crude. The finished product isn’t very much better. You can view it at The Reaper Team’s web site.

Following Adnani’s death in late summer 2015 a second effort was made to produce a promotional video for the Abu Sayyaf group and considerable travel and editing was done from Raqqah, Syria.

Mid-February 2016, members of The RINJ Foundation who had previously been employed at RSAC clinics inside Mosul, Iraq during the Islamic State occupation of that city, identified persons known to them in Mosul as a recruiter and a publicist at this Manila restaurant:

First sighting of Mosul-based ISIS recruiter and publicist

Feb 18, 2016 Sighting of Mosul-Based Islamic State Emir/Recruiter. Click the picture to watch their video.

The observations were promptly reported to the intelligence community by RINJ.

Click to watch Video
Click the image to view the video.


  1. Duterte feels threatened by the possible ouster he may get for his murder of ten thousand innocent civilians.
  2. Duterte needed to seize absolute power through Martial Law to increase his staying power and that of his henchmen as did his hero, dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was ousted in 1986.
  3. New laws in the Philippines imply that the President can only institute Martial Law if the country faces rebellion or invasion. Duterte had to create one.
  4. US President Donald Trump who supports the Duterte Murders implored Duterte to arrest Abu Sayyaf subleader Isnilon Hapilon upon whom America has a $5 million bounty as a top, wanted terrorist criminal.
  5. Duterte saw the excuse for declaring Martial Law, something he has been intrigued with for the past 13 months. Even though he was told that all matters concerning the Abu Sayyaf and Maute lunatics were under control on May 23, Duterte ordered the military to seize power under Martial law to an enormous section, more than 25%, of the Philippines. He says he will soon place the rest of the country under Martial Law.
  6. The handful of rag-tag Islamist extremists have been invaded and their cause has been given a multi-billion dollar promotion boost. They are stunned but pleased at the attention.
  7. The Islamic State Cabinet has instructed its team to exploit this publicity in every manner possible.
  8. At least 25 million Philippines civilians will pay the price in the loss of their human rights.
  9. The Philippines has now become a very bad place to be a Muslim.
  10. Between ‘lunatics’ Trump and Duterte, the end of the world as we know it is imminent.


Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces
Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines' southern provinces

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RINJ Medical Crew Traveling By Jeepney in the Philippines
RINJ Medical Crew Traveling in a Jeepney
© 2017 The RINJ Foundation, Toronto Canada