President Duterte has expressed concern that the Philippines may have to deal with Islamic State-style of terrorism two or three years from now.
Speaking before the Army 3rd Infantry Division during his visit to Camp Gen. Macario B Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz Friday, the President vowed to buy adequate equipment for the soldiers, including drones, to increase their intelligence capabilities.
He said the government could use funds from the United States to acquire some of the equipment that will give the troops an advantage as they fight enemies of the state.
“Just in case talagang we’ll have terrorism… Prepare for that two to three years from now. Yung ISIS and their style (of waging terror) because we have to deal with the Abu Sayyaf one of these days,” the President said.
“When we are prepared, when I think that I already have in my hands the things that I would need to fight a war correctly and accurately, we will have to go there and fight. But before that, kailangan ko ‘yung mga bagay-bagay to give you an edge. I will not order you to fight na disadvantaged,” he told the troops.
Duterte mentioned the $32-million which US Department of Secretary John F. Kerry promised to provide the Philippines during his visit to the country in July.
Duterte said he will divide the funds between the police and the military and the Armed Forces could use their share to buy equipment.
“We have to end this mindless thing of brutalism, ISIS ‘yan eh…wala na ‘yang partido, walang ideology. Wala na ‘yan. Basta ‘yan lang ang kanilang gusto, patay,” said the President.
He stressed, however, that he will not send the government troops to fight if he feels that it would result in a considerable loss.
“I would just bide my time. Only when we are ready, and we shall have acquired the equipments and I will buy it for you, only when I think that we are on the advantage, theoretically nasa taas tayo… nandoon na tayo sa high ground, with the weapons, with the assets, papasok tayo,” said Duterte.
The President had previously stated that he will not hold peace talks with the Abu Sayyaf.
And on Friday, in his speech before troops at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command headquarters in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, he reiterated his order to crush the homegrown terror group. Duterte flew to Cebu City after his visit to soldiers on Capiz.
“Abu Sayyaf, there will never be any peace negotation. You have to destroy them. That is the order: Destroy them,” he told the soldiers.
“Maghintay-hintay lang kayo (ASG) but when I was mayor, I said: ‘There will be a reckoning of all of these cruel and brutal things that you are doing. We will collect someday.’ Maghintay-hintay lang kayo kasi naga-assemble lang kami ng…But there will be a time na sabihin ko, ‘Pasukin niyo. Tapusin na ninyo ‘yan, to the last man, para wala na tayong problema,’ Duterte said. (Elena L. Aben)