MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the military Tuesday to crush enemies of the state, saying it would end the problem of Filipinos.
Duterte was referring to the communist New People's Army, terror group Abu Sayyaf, and kidnap-for-ransom groups, which he said were destroying the lives of Filipinos.
“Isa pang kalaban natin na sumisira sa buhay natin ay itong mga terorista, kasali na ang NPA, kasali na ang mga kidnap-for-ransom nandiyan sa Jolo, ang Abu Sayyaf at lahat na at ang utos ko sa kanila, 'pag sila ay lumaban, durugin para matapos na ang problema ng mga Pilipino,” he said in a speech during the 84th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
(One enemy that we have are these terrorists including the NPA, kidnap-for-ransom groups in Jolo, and the Abu Sayyaf. My order to the military is that if they fight back, crush them so that Filipinos would no longer have any problem.)
The President issued the remark nearly a week after he hinted at the possible resumption of peace talks with communist rebels, which was halted earlier this year due to continuing NPA attacks on government troops.
Duterte, in his speech, also reiterated his support for the military, saying he would take full responsibility for his orders to go after enemies of the state.
“I assure you of my unqualified support, especially as we continue to fight to defeat terrorism, and violent extremism, and insurgency,” he said.