Duterte: Indonesian, Malaysian troops can enter PH in pursuit of terrorists
DAVAO CITY – President Duterte on Saturday said Indonesian and Malaysian troops can enter the Philippines in pursuit of terrorists.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival from a state visit to India, the President said all Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur should do was to inform the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that they were pursuing terrorists.
“Me, I will allow troops of Indonesia and Malaysia to come in if they are pursuing a lead…and they would think that they are able (to defeat terrorists). Just inform the Armed Forces about it,” he said.
Duterte said Philippines was even willing to join the foreign operating troops.
“Or we can be of assistance, a joint. If it is joint operation, you bring along my soldiers because that’s what I’ve been saying. Hot pursuit in the seas,” he said.
Duterte said he had already told Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that their forces were free to pursue terrorists in Philippine territory.
“I said if it’s terrorist, my advice to them is just blow them up. And that’s my order to, my suggestion to the meeting. Blow them up,” he said.
He said he had run out of patience, especially about the activities of the Abu Sayyaf, which had been snatching victims from as far as Malaysian or Indonesian territories.
The bandit group was also known to decapitate victims, whose relatives could not pay ransom money as in the case of Canadians Robert Hall in June 2016, and John Ridsdel two months earlier.
There was also the case of Vietnamese hostage Pham Minh Tuan, who was killed in December, nearly a month after he was abducted at sea.
“That’s why do not be a hostage because you might be included in the blowing up,” he said.
“My patience ran out. Just sink. Just one ammunition,” the President added.
Duterte said blowing up terrorists was no problem “because they wanted that life anyway.”
“They know that it is very dangerous,” he added.
Duterte said he also brought up the problem on terror with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed with him the sharing of intelligence information.
“They are also facing problems. But not that — at that… as intense as we are facing now. They understand the problem. Terrorism, human smuggling, and all,” he said.
He said as far as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was concerned, he had suggested that the regional bloc “come up with a format” on how to effectively combat terror.
“It’s like this, we have been talking about economics. And leaders meet almost every year to talk about Asean and what is good. But it is geared towards more of the economic problems,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte downplayed the reported threat of the Islamic State to assassinate him.
The Print of India had reported that the IS had planned to assassinate the President during his visit to India.
The Abu Sayyaf and the Maute group also made a similar threat against Duterte at the height of the Marawi crisis.
Speaking to reporters here, the President said he should not be discouraged by threats and should continue with what he was doing – including the campaign against terrorism and religious extremism.
“When my time comes, it will come. I will stick to what destiny has given me. If it’s my time, it’s my time. So I should not be discouraged by threats,” he said./asu
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