Sayyaf hungry for caliphate– Duterte Says — Proposal of President Duterte to make ROTC mandatory in schools
MANILA, Philippines – Notorious for kidnapping and beheading of hostages, the Abu Sayyaf is now working to establish a caliphate in Mindanao and in the rest of Southeast Asia in response to calls from like-minded groups in the Middle East particularly the ISIS, President Duterte said yesterday.
“That Abu Sayyaf are 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,” he said in remarks before officers and men of the 5th Infantry Division in Isabela.
“Caliphate is the kingdom for Muslims,” he said. “The problem is they won’t talk on the basis of what you can give them; it’s either the caliphate or nothing.”
The President called on the troops of the Star Division, known for their skills in anti-guerrilla warfare in Northern Luzon, to re-orient themselves or do some readjustments so they would be ready to fight extremist groups.
“You have to reinvent yourself. Terrorism, although there is a front war, there is an urban terrorism,” he pointed out. “May banatan (There is fighting) maybe in Mindanao that’s really intense,” he explained.
“Unlike the NPA, which is on the move, the ASG are in an island. You have to train more, from being a soldier in uniform, to being intelligence operatives,” Duterte said. NPA or the New People’s Army is the armed wing of the communists in the Philippines.
“Just like in the Middle East, mamya magpaputok nang kotse yan (there will be car bombs). So it’s a long fight ahead,” he added.
In his speech, Duterte vowed to provide enough budget for the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which he said, would not be left out during his six years in office.
Rody to AFP: Always be ready for war
GAMU, Isabela, Philippines – Prepare for war at all times.
President Duterte rallied the troops to prepare themselves for a long battle ahead against terrorism and illegal drugs.
“If there is one ultimate value left for the country to protect the Filipinos, it will always be the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Duterte told the troops of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division at Camp Melchor de la Cruz here yesterday.
”Our country is confronted by the problem on drugs, corruption in the government and terrorism; do every means to protect the people,” Duterte said.
“Do not allow the country to disintegrate, do all means, you have my protection as commander in chief,” he said.
He assured the military that his administration will work towards providing the AFP with all the equipment, including gear that involve body protection, and weaponry it needs to combat terrorism and other security concerns in the country.
Duterte also told the troops to “reinvent” themselves by training in intelligence gathering and covert operations.
He said the enemy mingles with the public as farmers or ordinary people. As intelligence operatives, the President said some of the soldiers could appear as farmers to gather information to win the battle.
Duterte pointed to the fight against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu and Basilan provinces as among the military’s challenges.
“Prepare for that eventuality, prepare for war; the reason I want you to be equipped with advanced weaponry. I do not know if I would still be alive during the course of my six years term,” he added.
“Do not be afraid. Before we were born, God knows where he is going to place us – that you will become soldiers is already written in your destiny… death is natural,” Duterte added in Filipino.
He reported out the government efforts in securing peace from the Communist Party of the Philippines, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The President also reminded the soldiers that he has given the AFP about P500 million for the improvement of existing buildings and construction of a new one at the AFP Medical Center in Quezon City, aside from the purchase of modern medical equipment.
He said the presidential plane was converted into an air ambulance to improve the mobility of wounded soldiers.
The Department of National Defense (DND), on the other hand, said programs and activities have been lined out for operational capabilities and readiness of the reservists in the fight against crime.
“I am confident that the AFP leadership shall continue to focus its programs and activities in the enhancement of their operational capabilities and readiness of our reservists,”
DND Undersecretary Ricardo David Jr. said.
David also asked for support in the proposal of President Duterte to make ROTC mandatory in schools.
“The revival of the ROTC will inculcate the sense of patriotism, the sense of discipline as well as the sense of good citizenship,” he said. – Giovanni Nilles, Cecille Suerte Felipe
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