MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered the military to crush Abu Sayyaf, after authorities tagged the terrorist group in the twin blasts at a Church in Jolo, Sulu that left 21 dead and scores other injured.
In his speech, Duterte said the terror group must be crushed at all cost, adding that the only way to fight it “is to become evil also.”
“Tutal ang gusto ninyo diyan --- may armas man kayo --- obviously patayan ang gusto ninyo. Eh ‘di ibigay natin,” Duterte said in a speech before soldiers and relatives of the blast victims.
(Since you asked for it — and you have arms — obviously you like killings, I will give it to you.)
“I ordered you to destroy the organization. I’m ordering you now: pulpugin ninyo ang Abu Sayyaf by whatever means.”
(I ordered you to destroy the organization. I’m ordering you now: crush Abu Sayyaf by whatever means.)
“Meron man tayong helicopter, may eroplano, may mga barko. Eh iyong mga bala natin diyan sa mga kanyon ninyo may --- [Ano bang taya? Ano bang taya sa Tagalog?] [Official answers: Kalawang] Oh gikalawang na ‘yung mga… Paputukin na ninyo. I-bomba muna ninyo lahat, magbili na tayo nang bagong stock. [unclear] mo. Ngayon kung may inosente mamatay, iwasan ninyo. Iwasan hanggang ano.”
(We have a helicopter, planes, ships, and cannons. Fire them. Bomb them all and let’s buy new stocks of ammunition. Avoid the innocent ones.)
Duterte on Monday visited the blast site, and paid respects to the victims and checked on some of the injured victims.
Duterte also lashed out at the Islamic State, which has inspired Islamist extremist fighters in the Philippines.
“Iyong ISIS, kayo rin ang humingi. Uupakan ko talaga kayo. Gagamitin ko lahat. Gagamitin ko lahat,” he said.
(To ISIS, you asked for it. I will crush you. I will use all of my resources.)
The President also stressed that the bombings should not drive a wedge among sectors in the restive region.
“Hindi ito laban ng Joloano pati Kristiyanos. Walang --- walang may alam diyan sa mga bagay na ‘yan. A peaceful Joloanos and the Christians continue to live here in peace together,” he said.
(This is not a fight between Joloanons and Christians. This has nothing to do with that. Peaceful Joloanons and the Christians continue to live here in peace together.)
“You know my heart and I know yours. Pilipinas talaga ito, Jolo is part of the Philippines. It cannot be anything else.”
The military on Tuesday released a surveillance footage showing a man, supposedly showing Alias Kamah, brother of slain bandit leader Surakah Ingog, triggering the explosive device.
Kamah, a known bomb maker, ran away from the church and out of the video's frame with several cohorts, moments after the explosion, said Col. Gerry Besana, spokesperson of the military's Western Mindanao Command.
The group was also behind several kidnapping and extortion cases in Sulu, he said.
The Islamic State on Monday claimed credit for the attack, saying two suicide bombers detonated a belt of explosives, according to US-based SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities.
The military was not discounting this claim but said the Ajang-Ajang, a subgroup of the bandit Abu Sayyaf Group, may be behind the blast.