MANILA - Terrorism in Mindanao can turn into a full blown civil war, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday afternoon.
The 71-year-old commander-in-chief said the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force must be prepared to "have a change in paradigm," as the war against terrorists in Mindanao is no longer based on face-to-face combat.
"This is like a James Bond thing now, not so much about the show of might, but more about detection," Duterte said.
In line with the war on a new front, the President cited the advantage of having renewed peace talks with both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA).
"Do not be dismayed about the fact that we are talking with the Left," Duterte said.
"We've agreed to talk now, you can focus now on Mindanao," he added.
The chief executive said that although the MILF has played a big part in the "arrest of several [terror] suspects," insurgency and terrorism should still be considered as threats as some breakawayMoro factions have refused to talk with the government.
"The Abu Sayyaf is out of Nur Misuari's control. I'm sorry to say it in public, but they do not obey him," Duterte said.
The President has ordered terrorist groups in Mindanao destroyed, especially after a blast rocked his hometown Davao City earlier this month.
READ: Duterte on Abu Sayyaf: Destroy them
Duterte said he is still procuring more armament and weaponry for the military to ensure that government troops "will have everything they need to defeat the enemy."
"I don't need the jets and F-16. That's of no use to us. We don't intend to fight any country using that," Duterte said.
The President has asked Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other technical experts to "go to Russia and China" to look at which equipment should be best purchased for the military.