Duterte says gov’t can only reduce IS threat to ‘barest minimum’

Published March 25, 2019, 3:21 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government cannot completely stamp out the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) in the country in the next three years, President Duterte admitted last Sunday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City on March 24, 2019. (JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) campaign rally at the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City on March 24, 2019.
(JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President, instead, promised the administration would strive to “reduce” the security threat to the “barest minimum” as much as possible.

“We also have a problem in the south, the Abu Sayyaf. They are really patterned after the ISIS. If not, it is really the ISIS who are there. It’s a violent world. There are bombings everywhere, even inside the church. There are plenty of massacres too,” Duterte said in the Visayasan dialect during his visit to Cagayan de Oro last Sunday.

“We have never gone past that huge barrier. And I do not think that I would be able to solve it during the last remaining three years of my term. But I am trying my best to reduce it to the barest minimum possible,” he said.

Duterte insisted that the ideology of IS was “bankrupt,” saying its elements know nothing but to kill and destroy.

“The ISIS is a totally corrupt ideology, totally bankrupt ideology. They would kidnap and at the end of the day, even if the ransom has been paid, they would still slit the victim’s throat and record it,” he said.

The President earlier ordered the activation of a new military division in Jolo, Sulu to prevent the attacks perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf group and other IS-linked militants.

The 11th Infantry Division is stationed at Camp Bautista in Jolo, Sulu. The commander-in-chief has already ruled out any peace talks with the Abu Sayyaf group and directed the troops to use all resources to destroy them.

 
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