however, our area is safe.
I have been too sick to follow a lot of the story, but StrategyPage has a nice summary here, especially why martial law was declared (over the hysteria of our affluent left wing students and SJW's who live in safe guarded communities in Metro Manila)
The activities of BIFF, Maute and several smaller pro-ISIL groups had forced the larger Moslem separatist groups MNLF and MILF to crack down on Moslems who work with the Islamic terrorists. Because of that Abu Sayyaf was soon considered unworthy of local support by the Moslem community and the Abu Sayyaf leaders know that is the worst thing that could happen to them.
The government was hoping for a final (or at least decisive) battle with Abu Sayyaf, BIFF and Maute here and they got it. Martial law enabled the security forces to quickly round up the known or suspected supporters of Hapilon. That is important because Hapilon had lots of allies and contacts in the numerous local drug and smuggling gangs.and smuggling gangs.
The southern Philippines is not majority Muslim except in a few small areas, and as Duterte warns: If the MILF and other "militant groups" who seek peace don't help stop the terrorists, that it could degenerate into a civil war, and that some Christians are stockpiling guns for self defense. This Inquirer article is interesting because the SJW comments are all Anti Duterte, presumably because they prefer echoing the meme instead of remembering the massacres and attacks against Christians in the south before Duterte (like the attack on majority Christian city of Zamboanga).
what is going on now is brutal house to house conflict, with soldiers untrained for this, since most of the fighting in the past was in rural areas.
And of course there are human shields, and so there will be lots of propaganda photos of "innocent civilians" killed posted by the usual suspects on the social media.
SP article also include stuff about China's sea lane grab in the West Philippine Sea, and their propaganda about the new silk road
The key to China’s new sea routes is asserting ownership of the South China Sea. Another feature of Obor is that it offers business relationships that are more acceptable (than Western ones) to most of the nations Obor is investing in. The Chinese can, as they like to put it, be more flexible and respectful of local customs. In other words the Chinese don’t see bribes and corruption as a defect but an opportunity.
and remember: Drugs go along with that bribe/corruption thing. NYTimes article 1995 knew this, as did the Economist in 2014. This didn't get a lot of publicity, but we docs knew that the heroin trade in central Asia and southern China was the cause of the HIV epidemic there.
you think it's bad in Appalachia? What about the millions of heroin addicts in Iran? or in the numerous central Asia states?
China's opioid type drugs are the cause of the "heroin" overdose epidemic in the US (via Mexican drug lords).
and of course, then there is the meth/"shabu" epidemic, also from China (and North Korea)... Duterte is trying to stop this but this has caused the rich SJW here and in the US to get their knickers in a knot, and they know that more "innocent" drug dealers will get killed if they allow martial law.
but the dirty little secret is that I am more in danger of being killed in a home invasion robbery by druggies in need of a fix than I am by Abu terrorists.