Duterte tells troops: Destroy Islamist terrorists

The Philippine Star
Duterte tells troops: Destroy Islamist terrorists
President Duterte confers the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Kampilan to one of the wounded soldiers he visited at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu the other day.

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has directed the military to “destroy and kill” extremists whom he said are subscribing to a “bankrupt” ideology.

“I assure you that you have my full support as you conduct intensive military operations against these terrorist groups, particularly those who subscribe to the extremist ideologies of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda,” the President told soldiers at Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-bus in Jolo, Sulu last Saturday.

“That’s just a bankrupt… useless ideology. It only wants to kill and destroy. Destroy and kill. So my order to you: destroy and kill also,” he added.

Duterte is confident that government forces could win their fight against security threats.

“Please know that I am very humbled by your dedication, inspired by your resilience and thankful for the continued support. With your bravery, selflessness and patriotism, I am optimistic that we will one day defeat all threats to our democratic institutions and secure a brighter future for our beloved country,” he said.

“All I can say with pride: you are not alone in this fight. The Filipino people stand beside you, and I stand with you every step of the way as we advance the common good and promote the safety and security of our nation,” he added.

He reminded the soldiers to take care of themselves during clashes.

“Do not play extraordinary hero. Seek cover... You can only see that in the movies. Here, every step of the way, ensure... your safety first,” Duterte said.

“I pray… for your safety. I ask God that you be given protection so you can come home to your families every now and then,” he added.

21 soldiers awarded

Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu with a rank of Kampilan to 21 soldiers who were injured in recent encoun ters with the Abu Sayyaf in Patikul, Sulu.

The President awarded Sergeant Wilmar Salde, Sgt. Jonathan Mamalompong, Sgt. Alejandro Bautista, Sgt. Agripino Pagauitan, Sgt. Randy Menor, Corporal Jeffrey Zippagan, Cpl. Jeramil Canipas, Cpl. Edward Tamangen Jr., Cpl. Arnel Walay, Cpl. Raffy Jay Hernal, Cpl. Joel Wawoc, Private First Class Delim Cawas, PFC Arnold Daria, PFC Raib Pannal, Private Leo Molina, Pvt. Ronnie Galinggan, Pvt. Jonel Ramiscal, Pvt. Jackson Ramos, Pvt. Ruben Ruping Jr., Pvt. Jobert Galas and Pvt. Jake Venezuela when he visited them at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital last Saturday.

Duterte cited their courage and sacrifices in the service of the country, telling them he admires them for their bravery and patriotism, and assured them of the government’s assistance.

The Chief Executive said he wanted all wounded soldiers to receive medals, noting that they endure pain to fulfill their mandate.

“I created the Order of Lapu-Lapu. If stepping on a nail can hurt, how much more for a gunshot wound? So there should be an award,” he said.

New Army officers deployed

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army yesterday announced the deployment of dozens of newly commissioned 2nd lieutenants to various units nationwide to help fight the New People’s Army (NPA) and terror groups in the country.

Some 240 new officers – composed of 102 male and 37 female graduates of Philippine Military Academy’s “Alab Tala” Class of 2018, 88 male and 12 female graduates of the Officer Candidate School “Adusque” Class 49-17 and one graduate of British Army Commissioning Course 163 of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst – were officially filed last Friday in a simple send-off ceremony held at Fort Bonifacio.

Philippine Army acting Commanding General Maj. Gen. Chad Isleta led the activity along with other officials, civilian employees and the families of the new officers to show their infinite support and motivation.

“I commend all of you for making the Philippine Army your choice and for willingly accepting the challenges that come with our profession, even if this means having to voluntarily leave behind your families, friends and loved ones to protect a greater family – the Filipino citizenry. Take pride that you are now part of a force that is rapidly transforming into a world-class organization,” he told the troops.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said bulk of the new officers shall be deployed in various Army field units to strengthen leadership at the tactical level, which is essential in quelling the various threats besetting the country, particularly insurgency and terrorism.

IS becoming covert global network

Despite a major loss of territory, there are still around 20,000 Islamic State fighters in both Iraq and Syria, and a core of fighters is expected to survive and continue the group’s dangerous transformation into a covert global network, while focusing on the activities of its regional offshoots, according to a new United Nations report on the threats posed by IS presented to the Security Council last Thursday by senior UN counterterrorism officials. – Alexis Romero, Edith Regalado, Michael Punongbayan, Pia Lee-Brago




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