The New York Times discuss Marawi siege: Duterte focused on War on Drugs, ignored ISIS rise

International publication and one of the greatest critics of President Rodrigo Duterte, The New York Times is back to criticize the head of the state because of the rise of ISIS in the country.

Composite Image from Interaksyon and The New York Times


In their recent column published on Friday, the article emphasized that while President Duterte was bragging about his war on drugs, he ignored the ISIS rise in the country.

"While President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines was bragging about his brutal war on drugs, the Islamic State was consolidating its sway over Islamist rebel groups on the island of Mindanao. The extent to which ISIS has succeeded is now alarmingly evident, as a pitched battle between Philippine troops and Islamist militants for control of the largely Muslim city of Marawi enters its fourth week," said in the article.

The said publication also slammed Duterte for being unaware of the military advisers and intelligence assistance given by the US Government and acted hostile to them.

"Mr. Duterte, who has threatened to eject American forces from his country, said Sunday that he was unaware of the presence of military assistance in Marawi. In fact, the Pentagon has no permanent presence in the Philippines, but for years has kept 50 to 100 Special Forces troops in the south of the country on rotational exercises. Despite Mr. Duterte’s hostility to America, his army has close ties to the Pentagon, values its help against the extremists and has resisted Mr. Duterte’s efforts to expel the Americans."

They has also mentioned that Duterte's braggadocio is partly to blame for the escalation of conflict since he rejected a cease-fire offer from the Maute group way back in December 2016.

According to The New York Times, the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao will not resolve the problems and Duterte should restart negotiations with the militant groups instead.

"Mr. Duterte’s recent threat to declare martial law over the entire country — and a widening military show of brute force aided by the United States will not address the fundamental problems that have fueled militant movements on Mindanao since the 1970s: grinding poverty; lawless zones, where criminal gangs reign; and overcrowded prisons, which are a boon to Islamist recruiters.The most urgent need now is to ratchet down the fight in Marawi and press Mr. Duterte to restart negotiations with militant groups."

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