May 25, 2017

White House sends "solidarity" to ISIS-plagued Philippines

Eugene Hoshiko, Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

White House press secretary Sean Spicer issued this statement Thursday morning, titled "United States' solidarity with the Philippines":

"The United States condemns the recent violence perpetrated by an ISIS-linked terrorist group in the southern Philippines. These cowardly terrorists killed Philippine law enforcement officials and endangered the lives of innocent citizens. The United States will continue to provide support and assistance to Philippine counterterrorism efforts. The United States is a proud ally of the Philippines, and we will continue to work with the Philippines to address shared threats to the peace and security of our countries."

What the White House statement avoids mentioning: The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken extreme — and highly controversial — measures to combat the ISIS threat. He's declared martial law over the southern third of the country and threatened to expand the martial law nationwide.

Why it matters: Martial law hasn't ended well in the past. What Duterte is doing will remind his countrymen of the bloody reign of the country's former dictator Ferdinand Marcos — who ruled using martial law.

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