Duterte tells military to wipe out Abu Sayyaf

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Soldiers from the Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) and Marine Special Operation Group (MARSOG) gather their belongings after their send-off ceremony from their combat duty against pro-Islamic State (IS) militants in Marawi City, the Philippines, Oct. 21, 2017. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

MANILA (Manila Times) – President Rodrigo Duterte wants his military to “wipe out” the Abu Sayyaf “off the face of the earth” as it continued to sow terror in Mindanao despite the deployment one division in the region.

Duterte said he now considered the Abu Sayyaf “ISIS” or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria because of “their penchant to decapitate their captives and people who are kidnapped. And despite the payments, they still proceed to kill their victims.”

Duterte’s statement comes a week after ISIS reportedly claimed the twin bombings in a military camp in Idanan, Sulu that killed eight individuals and injured 22 others.

“My orders to my military and police to just simply wipe [ISIS] out from the face of the Earth, if we can do that,” said Duterte, who is also commander-in-chief.

The President said the government tried to make peace with the extremists, but to no avail.

“I told [the military,] ‘if they, if they can exhibit that kind of brutality, finish them off because we do not need those kinds of human beings with us,’” Duterte said.

In December last year, Duterte even considered talking peace with the Abu Sayyaf, saying the ammunition used by both sides were “wasted.”

More than a month later, the terrorist group was a suspect in the twin bombings at the Jolo Cathedral, which killed at least 20 people and injured hundreds, promtping Duterte to order the military to “crush” Abu Sayyaf “by whatever means.”

He also warned ISIS that he would use everything to stop the international terrorist group.

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