Philippines: ‘state of lawlessness’ after Davao blast

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared a "state of lawlessness" after a Sept. 2 bomb blast at a night market in the southern city of Davao, where he had long served as mayor. Duterte was unclear on what exactly his declaration means, and denied that he is instating martial law. But he stated ominously that he will "invite uniformed personnel to run the country." The blast, which killed at least 14 people and injured some 70, was claimed by the ISIS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).  ASG spokesperson Abu Rami said the attack is a "call for unity to all mujahedeen in the country" amid the government's new offensive against the group in its strionghold islands of Sulu and Basilan. Duterte had days earlier ordered intensified operations to finish off the 400-strong militant group, following the death of 15 soldiers in a clash in Patikul, Sulu province.

"There is a crisis in this country involving drugs, extrajudicial killings, and there seems to be an environment of lawlessness, lawless violence,” Duterte said in announcing his declaration. He added that the country is facing “extraordinary times” that require strong measures. (ABS-CBN, Philippines, NYT, CNN, BBC News)

  1. Philippines: anti-narco dictatorship consolidating?

    The "state of lawlessness" decalred by Rodrigo Duterte following a terror attack in Davao City, where he long ruled as a hardline anti-crime mayor, is cast in an especially grim light by reports from human rights groups that over 800 extrajudicial executions have taken place in the Philippines since his election. This reign of terror is ostenisbly being carried out in the name of a crackdown on drugs and crime. The Abu Sayyaf rebel group that was behind the Davao City attack as been repeatedly accused of profiting from the cannabis trade in southern Mindanao region—pointing to a possible struggle for control of the narco networks. See full story at Global Ganja Report