‘Avoid Mindanao,’ Duterte tells Indian business leaders
NEW DELHI — Shortly before flying back to the Philippines, President Duterte on Friday advised Indian business leaders here to “avoid Mindanao,” as it remained under military rule.
“Avoid Mindanao. There’s still martial law there,” Mr. Duterte said in a brief meeting with Indian entrepreneurs interested in investing in the Philippines.
“But it’s a martial law that’s not really a martial law. It is a martial law for the enemies of the state,” the Philippine leader said.
Mr. Duterte’s meeting with business leaders was his last stop in his three-day visit to India, his first foreign travel in 2018.
In the meeting, the President delivered another of his rambling speeches, in which he talked about, among other things, his war on drugs, his disdain for human rights groups, American imperialism and how Indian business were welcome in his country.
Expounding on the situation in Mindanao, Mr. Duterte said they should be more secure.
“But if you are just an ordinary guy there with a business, you can hardly even notice…there are no soldiers around. Only policemen,” he said.
“But in the implementation against the enemies of the state, ISIS, for example and the rebellious Abu Sayyaf, who are fond of decapitating foreigners, kidnap in front of you know, there’s something there in the south that is quite virulent,” Mr. Duterte said.
His hometown of Davao City, according to the President, is “relatively safe.”
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