The Philippines Threatened by Muslim Terrorism

Source: FSSPX News

Islamic radicalization in Southeast Asia has the Catholic Church worried. There were violent clashes on May 24, 2017, between the armed forces and Muslim fighters during a manhunt for Isnilon Hapilon, the head of the Muslim group Abu Sayyaf and the head of Daesh in the Philippines.

At least three members of the security forces were killed in the confrontations on the island of Mindanao, in Marawi, a city with a population of 200,000, largely Muslim. The Islamist salso burned a Catholic church, the authorities added.

Given the turn of events, Rodrigo Duterte was obliged to cut short his diplomatic visit to Moscow. When received by Vladimir Putin on May 23, the Philippine head of state insisted that his country “needs modern fight Daesh”. Upon his return to the archipelago on the evening of the 24th, the president declared martial law in the southern region of Mindanao, where about 20 million people live.

Rodrigo Duterte has warned that the martial law declared in the south of the archipelago to fight the Islamists would be applied severely and would remind the people of “the days of dictatorship”. “It will not be any different from what the President, Marcos, did,” he added, recalling that during his electoral campaign in 2016, he promised to be very severe with terrorism. “I have to do it to preserve the Republic of the Philippines, the Filipino people.” Martial law could last a year in Mindanao, he warned, even though the Constitution puts a 60-day limit on this exceptional regime.

According to specialists on security matters, Isnilon Hapilon – who is considered to be the second-in-charge of the Filipino branch of Daesh – is trying to unite the different groups that have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State, one of them being the Maute group, near Marawi, that has waged murderous battles against the army these past twelve months. José Calida, attorney general of Manila, denounced a veritable “invasion of foreign terrorists” who have come to lead the Jihad in the country.

Since the 1970’s, the Muslim rebellion has been demanding an autonomous or independent region in Mindanao and the fighting has already left 130,000 dead. While the main groups of the Muslim rebellion are negotiating peace with the government, it is a different story with the new Islamist groups affiliated with Daesh, who demand that a caliphate be established.

On Wednesday, May 24, the same armed groups took several hostages, including a priest. Fr. Chito Suganob and some others who were in a cathedral were kidnapped by members of the Maute group, announced the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Bishop Socrates Villegas, in a press release: “They have threatened to kill the hostages if government forces pitted against them are not recalled.”

The president of the Bishops’ Conference saw fit to add: “We call on the Maute group that claims to bear arms in the name of a Merciful and Benevolent God – the same God that we Christians worship and adore – to do the One God true honor by the mercy and benevolence...”  Not only is it false to assert that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, but this sort of irenic language seems completely inadequate with violent and bloody terrorists.

As proof, the Apostolic Prefect of Marawi City has confirmed the murder of nine Catholics during the attack; they were killed and tied up at the gates of the city. He declared to the press agency Fides that no negotiations were underway: “The army is engaged in door-to-door combat to regain the city of Marawi. And military leaders say they do not intend to negotiate with terrorists. We are seriously concerned about Fr. Chito, Fr. Suganob, and the other 15 hostages taken by  terrorists.” Besides the cathedral, they also burned two schools.

On top of the jihadist persecutions, the Catholic Church also has to deal with a lack of support from President Duterte. Right after his election, the new president declared that the Catholic Church would have no role in his mandate. “It is over. Why would I take them into account?” he said of the members of the episcopate.

It must be said that there are many points of disagreement between Rodrigo Duterte and the Church: while the media mostly speaks of human rights – the Church is opposed to the restoration of the death penalty in the archipelago – it is more important to point out the Church’s opposition to Duterte’s support of the “family planning” promoters, and consequently of the culture of death against which the bishops continue to fight steadfastly. The new president is a fervent supporter of population control – with the “consent” of the families – advocating a maximum of two or three children per couple. This Malthusian mentality is precisely that of the globalist “establishment”. He did not hesitate to organize the free distribution of contraceptives in his city.

In addition, a recent study conducted by the Social Weather Survey reports the growing secularization of the Filipino Catholics. While religion continues to play an important part in daily life, they seem to be taking a certain distance from the  Church.

Between atheistic globalism on one hand and Islamic fanaticism on the other, Catholicism seems more than ever to be the only path of salvation for society.

Sources: / Eglises d’Asie / AFP / Ouest France / Infocatho / Le Figaro / Fides FSSPX.News - 5/30/17