Duterte won’t allow IS to turn PH into its base in Southeast Asia
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday assured Filipinos that his administration will not allow Islamic State terrorists to make the Philippines its base in Southeast Asia.
Duterte made the remarks in his speech at the 82nd anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippine where he urged troops to remain vigilant against terroristic activities.
“We will not allow those who subscribe to the Daesh ideology to succeed. We will never allow the Islamic State to make the Philippines its regional center,” he said.
The President said the death of terrorist Isnilon Hapilon, who led the five-month Marawi siege, “further bolsters this administration’s firm thrust towards eliminating all terrorist groups in the country.”
But despite the liberation of Marawi City, he said the fight against terrorism was far from over.
“I now return the favor to our troops who made the supreme sacrifice, suffered injuries and went beyond the call of duty. Be assured that the government will support all of your endeavors as we realize a stronger and more resilient government,” he said.
“Do not worry about your families. Do not kill yourself just thinking of what will happen tomorrow,” he added.
The attack of Islamic State-inspired Maute Group in Marawi on May 23 prompted Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao.
The martial was supposed to end on July but Congress voted to extend it until the end of 2017.
On December 13, Congress again approved the request of the President to extend martial rule in the entire Mindanao until the end of December 2018.
“Although we have already begun to rebuild Marawi City and rehabilitate conflict-affected areas, our fight is far from over. We will remain vigilant as we continue our intensified military [operations] against the remaining terrorist groups,” he said.
Duterte then hailed soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Marawi City.
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