The writing on the wall was there. It was coming. It was just a matter of time.
Coming from Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte has always longed for peace in the war turned region.
He has always made it clear that he identifies himself with the Muslims, openly stating that he has their blood flowing in his veins from his maternal side of the family.
But as then mayor of Davao City he could only do so much and with limited impact.
Thus, when Duterte got overwhelmingly elected president he worked hard to make Mindanao what it is suppose to be – the land of promise, among other things.
Duterte realized that peace in Mindanao will not come easy not because of the much talked about Muslim-Christian conflict, but more serious is the enmity and hostility among the different Moro rebel themselves.
As Duterte showed ardor and determination in his fight against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption in the country, his sincerity and passion also manifested in his quest to pacify the warring Moro rebels in Mindanao so lasting peace in the region could be attained. I am referring here to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Alas, while peace talks, agreements and even unavoidable occasional skirmishes between government troops and the Moro rebel have been ongoing, another radical Islamist rebels known as the Maute group made known of their existence with impunity.
The Maute group who are based in Lanao del Sur is also known as the Islamic State of Lanao led by their founders Omar and Abdulla Maute. It is said that this local terrorist group has already pledged allegiance to international terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS), carrying and raising ISIS black flags and insignia.
The Maute has been blamed for a bomb attack that killed 15 people in southern Davao city last September and a number of attacks on government forces in Lanao, although it has faced setbacks from a series of military offensives.
With events going bad and spiraling out of control in Marawi City, as the Maute group mounted violent attacks when government forces tried to capture their leader Isnilon Hapilon, Duterte deemed it timely to declare martial law for the whole of Mindanao.
I think Duterte knows what he is doing and if putting Mindanao under martial law is what it takes to prevent the enlisting and widening the control of the Maute terrorist group so that the country could go on developing its national interest then the president should be commended for exercising his much appreciated guts and political will.