President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he sees “very dangerous times” ahead in the country, after recent local terrorist attacks.
That’s why whatever resources the country needs to neutralize hostile forces should be put in place soon.
“I hope that by the time I make my exit, nandiyan na lahat ’yan, because I am not belittling the events to come or the person coming in to be the next president. Hindi ko alam kung sino,” Duterte said in a speech during an appreciation dinner for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at Manila Hotel.
“And I’d rather that I leave with a strong military and police and equipped to challenge the enemies of the state, especially terrorism.
“I see a very dangerous times ahead. And I hope that we will be able to contain whatever there is to really to . . . Lumalabas nga ‘yung pawis sa kamay ko just thinking about if it would go awry outside of Sulu and Basilan islands.”
He was referring to recent terrorist attacks in the South, particularly the twin blasts in Indanan town, Sulu, on July 3, which killed 8 people, including 3 soldiers, and injured 12 others.
The President expressed his hope the country’s troops will be supplied with new weapons and tools to deal with terrorist attacks.
“I hope that Congress would tide us over to complete the instruments that we need in dealing, especially with terrorism,” Duterte said.
“So that I said, I must be prepared. And nabili ko na ho ‘yung mga kailangan, but there are still a few things that I must have for my Armed Forces and the Police.”
Authorities on Tuesday confirmed that one of 2 suicide bombers behind the twin blasts in Indanan was Filipino, the first validated case of a Philippine citizen involved in such an attack.
The Indanan blasts, according to terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna, shows the aggressive radicalization of Filipino jihadists by the Islamic State group, which could mean more suicide attacks, something that Philippine security troops are unfamiliar with. — With reports from RG Cruz, Pia Gutierrez and Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News