Bomb Abu Sayyafs in Bohol, Duterte tells security forces
CEBU – President Rodrigo Duterte offered a bounty for the capture of Abu Sayyaf militants behind a foiled attack on Inabangga town in Bohol province in central Philippines.
Duterte said he ordered the navy to bomb militants who travel by boat in search of kidnap victims. “My order to the Navy, kung positive pasabugin, wala nang surrender. Sabi ko kanyunin mo na. Wasakin mo,” he said.
He said he was considering to arm civilians there so they can help the government fight terrorists and drug suspects, adding he prefers outlaws dead than alive.“i encourage civilian to kill. Dead or alive yan may reward mas gusto ko yung dead kasi yung alive magpakain pa ako ” Duterte said during his recent visit there.
His visit came a week after troops, backed by airstrikes, battled Abu Sayyaf fighters, leaving 11 militants, three soldiers, a policeman and two villagers dead. Troops are hunting several militants who escaped.
Duterte offered P1 million bounty for each of at least 7 militants being pursued by soldiers. The reward is for information that would allow the military or police to capture the fleeing militants. He said that informants’ identities would be kept confidential.
“Just tell us where they are hiding and we will take care of that information. You don’t need to give us your identities,” Duterte said.
Military officials said the militants traveled far from their jungle bases in southern Sulu province to carry out kidnappings for ransom and bombings for the first time in Bohol, a popular tourism destination for its whitesand beaches, waterfalls, caves and wildlife.
Asked by reporters what could be the specific target of the militants, Duterte said they might be plotting to disrupt the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Bohol’s resort island of Panglao and “create a disaster for all of us.”
Duterte inspected several areas in Bohol and gave assurances the province is secure, saying, “We have more than enough officers to fight for one year, if need be, so you are safe.”
He warned the militants the government would now try to track them, including by satellite, to prevent them from venturing far from their southern island and create trouble elsewhere.
The Abu Sayyaf pledges allegiance anew to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and its leader Abu Bakr al-baghdadi in these screen grab from a video released by the notorious rebel group.