JOLO, SULU — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, January 28, ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group after visiting the site of fatal bombings in Jolo.
“I ordered you to destroy the organization. I’m ordering you now: pulpugin ninyo ang Abu Sayyaf by whatever means,” the Commander-in-Chief strongly mandated the government’s forces after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), through their local counterpart Abu Sayyaf, claimed responsibility for the bombings.
“Ang gawin ninyo, sabihin ninyo pagka-bobombahin mo ‘yang lahat…paalisin mo iyong mga tao. Paalisin mo ‘yung mga tao, ilagay mo dito kung saan ako…ako ang maggastos ng pagkain…lahat. Tapos plantsahin ninyo ng bala,” he added.
“Our duty is to protect the Filipino people. And second is that we have to preserve the nation. ‘Pag nawala iyang Jolo, maski isang island diyan, well, we have failed in our mission to preserve the territory of the Republic of the Philippines,” he continued.
The President expressed outrage over the terrorist attacks and said that despite the presence of rebellious groups such as the Moro National Liberation Front of Nur Misuari in Jolo, the Christians and Joloanos “continue to live here in peace together.”
“Meron tayong mga rebelde kagaya nila Nur Misuari…Murad…pero ang rebolusyon ho nila is territorial,” he said. Unlike the Abu Sayyaf, the group has “no ideology” and declared loyalty to the “evil movements” of ISIS.
Before his speech, President Duterte visited the bombed Catholic cathedral and inspected the area. There, he witnessed the massive destruction caused by the bombing attacks. He also met with the victims’ next of kin at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Multipurpose Hall, where he provided the victims’ families financial assistance and vowed to give justice to their loved ones.
The President also visited the wounded military personnel at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital. He provided the soldiers medical and financial assistance and awarded them the Order of Lapu-Lapu with Rank of Kampilan. ### PND