As the Islamic State is pushed from the Middle East and looks for new real estate, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warns that he would suspend habeas corpus if they became a larger threat in the Philippines. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, “Habeas corpus… is the legal procedure that keeps the government from holding you indefinitely without showing cause.”
In a speech about the Islamist threat translated by Reuters, Duterte told a law enforcement agency:
Once the terrorists of the Middle East are deprived of the land area, the real estate area where they can sleep … they will wander to other places and they will come here and we have to prepare for that. Remember, these guys, they do not have an iota of what is human rights, believe me. I will not just simply allow my people to be slaughtered for the sake of human rights, that’s bullshit.
The Islamic State is already active in the southernmost island of the three-island nation, called Mindanao. Mindanao is an autonomous region of the Philippines, mainly due to religious tension with the other majority Catholic islands. Duterte is from Mindanao, where he was mayor of Davao City, the largest city in the world in terms of land area.
Islamic extremists in Mindanao are already attempting to overthrow the government there. Mindanao previously included the unofficial affiliate of the Islamic State called “Abu Sayyaf.” According to The International Business Times, senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and other masked men pledged their allegiance to ISIS in a summer of 2014 video.
In June 2016, ISIS formally accepted Abu Sayyaf and the Philippines as part of their “caliphate” in a beheading video. Watch that video here.