Duterte vows 'harsh' approach vs Abu Sayyaf

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he would be "harsh" to Abu Sayyaf bandits, following the beheading of its 18-year-old Filipino hostage in Jolo, Sulu.

"My order to the police and to the armed forces against all enemies of this state [is to] seek out, seek them out...Destroy them. The Abu Sayyaf, destroy them. Period," Duterte said in a press conference in Davao City on early Thursday.

"I will be harsh [to the Abu Sayyaf]. Mind you, I have just used a campaign--a campaign that just go out and destroy them. So kill them and don't ask about human rights. Don’t bother to think," he added.

The President issued the remark when sought to react on the beheading of Patrick Almodovar, 18, in Jolo, Sulu last July 16.

Reports said Almodovar's severed head, wrapped in a plastic bag, was found in Indanan, Sulu around 7:30 p.m. last Wednesday.

The rebel group allegedly decapitated the hostage after his family failed to pay the P1 million ransom demand.

Duterte earlier said that he was not amenable to having a dialogue with the Abu Sayyaf as they are "criminals" who will do nothing good to the country.

He said the rebel group was different from the Communist Party of the Philippines, whose leaders are currently in Oslo, Norway to talk with the government about a peace agreement. (Sunnex)
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