Duterte: No ISIS if Saddam, Gaddafi still alive

Duterte: No ISIS if Saddam, Gaddafi still alive
(UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte says ISIS will not flourish in the Philippines as the situation in Mindanao is not the same as in the Middle East

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – If strongmen Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were still alive, the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) “would not be what it is today.”

This is the belief of President Rodrigo Duterte, which he shared in a speech after a power plant inspection in Buluan, Maguindanao, on Friday, July 22.

While discussing the Communist Party of the Philippines, Duterte shifted the topic and criticized the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which paved the way for the capture of Saddam and his execution for crimes against humanity in 2006.

Sa totoo lang, kung hindi nila pinatay si Saddam, hindi sila pumasok; hindi nila pinatay si Gaddafi, hindi ganoon ngayon ang [ISIS]…ISIS is a product of desperation,” he said.

[Frankly speaking, if they didn’t kill Saddam, they didn’t  enter the picture, they didn’t kill Gaddafi, ISIS would not be what it is today…ISIS is a product of desperation.)

Duterte is not alone in this observation. US presidential candidate Donald Trump had said the same thing about Saddam.

Saddam was Iraq’s president from 1979 until he was deposed in 2003. His security forces killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis during his regime and ordered genocides to keep his grip on power.

Not the same in PH

Duterte also spoke about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose crackdown on dissenters eventually led to civil strife in his country.

Una pumutok Iraq, tapos Syria. Tapos itong Assad na ito, binobomba ang mga tao niya ng gasolina tapos, bata, sunog lahat isang community. Ito ngayon mas malala pa, kasi wala na eh, na-desperado. Kaya ganoon, ISIS everywhere,” he added.

(First, Iraq blew up, then Syria. Then this Assad guy started bombing his own people using gasoline, then children, an entire community went up in flames. Now, the situation got worse because they got desperate. So now, ISIS is everywhere.)

Duterte said the situation in the Middle East, however, cannot compare to the Philippines where parts of Mindanao, he added, are reportedly “contaminated with ISIS.”

“Iyong ISIS doon [sa Middle East]…masakit ang dinaanan nila. The Middle East was divided by America, France and Britain. Sila lang ang naghati-hati niyan….Eh bakit man tayo magsunod [sa ISIS] na wala man tayong inapi-api na tao dito, wala naman tayong binomba [na nga lugar]…Sino ba ang papayag niyan?

[The ISIS in the Middle East…went through a painful experience. The Middle East was divided by America, France, and Britain. They were the ones who divided it….Why would we follow [ISIS] when the people here were not as oppressed, we didn’t bomb their communities….Who will allow that?)

Duterte had earlier approved a peace roadmap which seeks to usher in peace and development by addressing the issue on the Bangsamoro and resumption of peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).

In June, ISIS urged its followers in Southeast Asia to fight for the terror group either in Syria or in the Philippines, based on a video that the Philippine military  dismissed as “propaganda.” (READ: ISIS to followers in SE Asia: ‘Go to the Philippines’– Rappler.com

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