• 14 people were killed.
  • 90 people were wounded.
  • A terrorist attack targeted Davao, the native city of Philippine President Rodrigo “The Punisher” Duterte, who was in Davao at the time, but is uninjured.
  • No U.S. service members on regular rotation in the Philipines, as part of the South China Sea strategy to defend allies against Chinese actions are reported missing, wounded, or killed.
  • The tactics of the bombing, similar to blasts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other areas of unrest; targeted a crowded market. The market is a point of its high value to terrorists, in its proximity to the Marco Polo Hotel, which is a popular destination of President Duterte, VIP dignitaries, Westerners, the press, and visiting investor interests.
  • Investigators on the scene discovered remnants of a mortar shell and additional indicators in a post-blast analysis that have determined that the explosion was the result of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has obtained global recognition, for his unorthodox, yet effective measures to combat a bane of crime that has shrouded the Philipines.
  • In response to the attacks President Duterte has declared a “state of lawlessness” – or more commonly know as martial law with the military assisting law enforcement in an effort to stabilize the situation.
  • The terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, an organization which acclaims loyalty to Daesh “IS” AKA the Islamic State, is considered a possible culprit.


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has not outright accepted the claims of the unoriginal terrorist organization. Neither has the United States, who has offered condolences with Davao, the victims, and has offered to provide assistance in the investigation. President Duterte has raised speculation that one of the many, yet nearing regional extinction, narcotics syndicates targeted by his absolute, no-nonsense approach to eliminating illicit drugs from the Pacific island nation, may have played a part as well.

SOFREP.com – Buck Clay

A development of this nature would leave Abu Sayyaf as not only unoriginal, and within the proxy flock of wannabe Daesh, but also in the standard wheelhouse of pathologically inconsistent.

Yet the tactic used in the marketplace, investigators have discovered mortar round shrapnel and the remnants of an IED in the preliminary findings of the post-blast analysis from the scene of the explosion. The typical techniques of bunching munitions together, such as mortar rounds, and tying them together, most typically on an electrical circuit/initiation system, and in conjunction with land mines, artillery shells, and/or homemade explosives (HME), such as pentaerythritol tetranitrate, more commonly referred to as PETN.

Abu Sayyaf is desperate and has been put on their heels by President Duterte’s counteroffensive on crime.  Over the past nine weeks, President Duterte has omitted politics and poise in an effort to flush the bad guys out of the Philippines, in full.
Thus far, the real war on drugs and terror, and in the Philippines has been bloody, claiming as many as 2,4000 lives, (a number estimated at the mean average through varying reporting sources and those reports are often sharply biased against President Duterte’s direct and realistic stance against crime, narcotics, and terror).

SOFREP – Buck Clay

Despite the damnation of special interest, losses of investment in unethical business practices, as well as the on-going fallacy by the sheltered that violence is unnecessary to halt evil; crime has so far fallen 49% in the Philippines. A statistical miracle in any nation and it was accomplished along the lines of President Duterte’s hard-line stance, which has not only targeted the dealer, and the manufacturers but their networks, infrastructure, supporters, as well as the users. There is no pandering, only results as 10,153 have been arrested, and 600,000 have surrendered outright. You can review, the U.S. [mostly] similar, in structure,  criminal justice system, executive branch, judiciary and legislative systems of the Philippines – here.

Nevertheless, and within that mix, there will be some injustice, situations turned sour, overflow, crowding, delay and so on. Even so, only a fool believes that a war on crime, or let alone the normal policing of crime in the West can be achieved without any casualties. There are, of course, casualties within the U.S. but far more are served injustice with the courtroom as per my opinion and the ever fluctuating system of legal defense based on monetary value and networks of the alleged criminal or the family of that supporting criminal greatly affect justice. As for those without, they know that they don’t stand a chance, and most especially against the opinions and perspective of 12 people who were too stupid to figure out how to get out jury duty. A jury of your ‘peers,’ who also have little real knowledge of the law or the peripheral into crime and policing – both can operate in the gray, the dark, and the light; depending on experiences.

A grouping of once hostile mortar round - Possibly similar to the setup deployed in the Philippines.
A grouping of once hostile mortar rounds – Possibly similar to the setup deployed in the Philippines.

Our many, and on-going justice system problems aside, and back to the Punisher, former mayor of the City of Davao (a post currently occupied by his daughter Sara) and current President of the Philippines. Wherein, and amongst his many exploits dishing out justice in Davao, and those many experiences he has brought forth as the Commander in Chief of the Philippines. To his office, he brought with him a lifetime of enemies; having served for 22-years as the mayor of Davao. From President Duterte’s current posting, and despite his success, he has made plenty of enemies, disrupted the flow of ill-gotten riches, shook the foundations of the ivory towers of safety wherein rests the sheltered yet triggered who are quick to hoist massive opinions based on the five-minute report they watched part of on CNN. Yet, the feather in President Duterte’s cap of not wasting time or pandering to the feelings of the outraged has been earned, and most famously when he recently ruffled the feathers of international blowhards, such as Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the UN.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon requested an audience with President Duterte, at the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Laos to criticism President Duterte on his initially messy, yet highly successful offensive on crime, narcotics, and terror in the Philippines. To Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Duterte, made it clear, that, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that.’ In response, there was, of course, some pompous outrage, and President Duterte responded by calling the UN, ‘silly’ . . . which in all honesty, as an institution, the UN is as ridiculous as having tea with the Mad Hatter.

Are we going with terror on the Philippines story? Uhh, I guess so? As paraphrased from what may have spoken in newsrooms around the world overnight.

Nevertheless, and despite the global focus on President Duterte making enemies of the rich, powerful, and political elite on the global stage, as well as an army of triggered activists, and every criminal who has ever spoken of the Pacific Rim -the West is just going to call it an act of terrorism. The alleged act of terror was linked by reporters who remain tens of thousands of miles away for the scene, and they somehow managed to process all the evidence found on the scene, chase down leads, make arrests, and formulate conclusions before the authorities in the Philippines. The far-removed  reporters who all reached the same conclusion, through what I can only suspect as a rare occurrence of The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon, combined, in an effort to drive sales and recognition in the easiest and most misleading  way possible, have awarded the easy finger-point, for prime terror suspect, goes to the current #1 in easy public recognition, driving shocked readership/viewership in advertising, and love-to-hate popularity, Daesh ‘IS.’


SOFREP - Buck Clay
SOFREP – Buck Clay

A lot of this speculation appears to be copy and pasted from a Reuters/Daily Mail article from 2000 . . . Philippines, 14 Dead, change al-Qaeda to IS, bombing, Muslim, terror – done.

The reality is that the alert level in the Philippines is at the maximum and investigators are piecing together the clues to discover if this incident was indeed executed by Abu Sayyaf. Manuel Guerlan, the Regional Police Commander, overseeing the operation in Davao, established a cordon and a layered ring of checkpoint security throughout and around Davao following the incident and had this to say,

A thorough investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the explosion, we call on all the people to be vigilant at all times.” 

So, yes, the possibility is there to just say that Daesh, ‘IS’ did it, or China, or Criminals, or Ban Ki-Moon, of the man in the moon. The facts will remain uncertain until investigators collect the real evidence, beyond the chirpings of madmen.

Featured Image –Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visiting the victims of the Davao blast – Twitter