President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night said he has ordered the military and the police to destroy the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Duterte issued the statement after the bandits beheaded a teenager they held for ransom in Sulu.
"That's why I'm sending the troops there and tell them to destroy the (Abu Sayyaf)," Duterte said in a press conference in Davao City. "My orders to the police and to the Armed Forces against all enemies of the state: seek out! Seek them out in their lairs, whatever."
"And destroy them! Ang mga droga, destroy them! Ang mga Abu Sayyaf, destroy them, period."
The Abu Sayyaf beheaded Patrick James Almodovar, 18, on Wednesday afternoon, according to Brigadier General Arnel dela Vega, commander of the Sulu Task Group.
Almodovar was abducted when he went out with friends on July 24. According to his mother “Annie,” she received a call from alleged kidnappers afternoon of the same day, demanding P1 million for his release.
Major Filemon Tan Jr., spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, said a severed head was recovered in Barangay Kadjatian, Indanan, Sulu, past 7:30 p.m, Wednesday. The head is believed to belong to Almodovar.
Tan said the head will undergo thorough examination.
Early this month, Almodovar’s mother appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to help free her son, as she was unable to come up with the ransom money.
READ: Mom of abducted teen appeals to Duterte for son's release
She was able to collect only P100,000 with help from friends and family and after talking to local government officials, she said.
The abductors threatened to behead Almodovar if the ransom was not met by August 24.