Pres. Duterte vows to crush the Abu Sayyaf

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his commitment to end the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President reiterated his commitment to crush the Abu Sayyaf at the New Year Command Conference with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Malacañang Palace last Friday.

“Idiniin din ng Presidente ‘yung kanyang (The President reiterated his) commitment to end the ASG, ‘yung (the) Abu Sayyaf Group,” Abella said in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Abella said security forces gave the President their security update during the joint command conference, as well as current law enforcement activities.

For the President’s part, Abella said President Duterte reiterated his firm stance against corruption, as well as his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and terrorism.

“Ni-reiterate niya ang kanyang guidance regarding corruption lalo na, sinasabi niya ‘yan kasi hindi naman nawawala ‘yan just like that and then ‘yung campaign against drugs and terrorism,” Abella said.

(“He reiterated his guidance regarding corruption, especially because, as he says, corruption is not easily eradicated, and then the campaign against drugs and terrorism,” Abella said.)

The Palace official said the joint command conference lasted two hours, describing it as a “substantial and a very fruitful meeting which puts the President in touch once more with this branch of government”.

In the same radio briefing, Abella called on the Filipino faithful to be careful and remain calm and sober, especially those who will join the ‘Traslacion’ on Monday.

“Let us again look out for one another,” Abella said.

He also said the Philippines’ friendship with Russia shows that the country is broadening its borders of support.

“In a sense, na-break po ‘yung ating mentality ng ating source of security comes only from one particular country,” he said.

(“In a sense, our mentality that our source of security comes only from one particular country, has been broken,” he said.)

“We are beginning to recognize that our borders are not necessarily limited or confined to simply one country or one geopolitical force,” he added.