President Rodrigo Duterte, during a speech at Camp Dela Cruz in Gamu, Isabella, told the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that Abu Sayyaf militants would establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia.
“The Abu Sayyaf, [they’re] no longer [hungry] for independence in Mindanao. They are no longer hungry for autonomy. They are hungry for a fight to establish a caliphate in Southeast Asia,” Duterte said. “It’s either the caliphate or nothing.” He also urged the military to train more to fight terrorism and the ongoing war on drugs. “You have to train more. You have to reinvent yourself from almost a soldier of uniform to all of you being intelligence operatives,” he said. In a media interview, Duterte even threatened that he would eat the militants alive to avenge the death of 15 people who were killed in Davao bombing. “If I have to face them, you know I can eat humans,” he was quoted as saying during the interview. “I will really open up your body. Just give me vinegar and salt, and I will eat you.” The Abu Sayyaf group has been responsible for claiming the lives of more than 120,000 people since the 1970s and is also blamed for repeated abductions and the worst terror attacks seen in the country. The group has also beheaded foreigners, including two Canadians in April and June.
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