PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte ordered Monday the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to crush the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
This was his first time since he assumed office on June 30 to declare an all-out war against the ASG, whom he initially considered as not criminals.
"Since our country continues to be confronted with the internal security threats aggravated by the existence and activities of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, the full force of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will be applied to crush these criminals who operate under the guise of religious fervor," he said in a 90-minute State of the Nation Address held at the House of Representatives.
He said the military shall enhances its capability to search and engage the rogue and lawless elements.
The President also said that his government has to strengthen coordination with Indonesia and Malaysia to suppress the kidnappings in the waters of the neighboring countries.
"We will strengthen our counter-terrorism programs by amending various laws on human terrorism, terrorism financing and cybercrime," he said.
"This is our answer to the challenges of the global development's non-traditional threats, transnational crimes and fanatical terrorism."
The Abu Sayyaf has been holding foreign and local hostages in Sulu. (SDR/Sunnex)