Duterte orders AFP to crush enemies of the state
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to finish the terrorist rebels, including the communist New People's Army.
Duterte made the order days after he ordered Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III to talk with the Netherlands-based Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison for the possible resumption of the peace talks.
During his speech at the 84th anniversary of the AFP, Duterte told the soldiers to make the country "as peaceful as it can ever be."
"Our enemies, who ruin our lives, are these terrorists, including NPA, including kidnap-for-ransom there in Jolo, the Abu Sayyaf (Group), all of them. And my order to them (soldiers), crush them if they fight back so that the problem of the Filipinos will finally end," he said.
Duterte assured the government troops of his unqualified support as they continue fighting to defeat terrorism, violent extremism and insurgency.
"The Filipino people will continue to count on each one of you to remain steadfast in your noble mission to defend our sovereignty and maintain peace in our community. And you should not fail," he added.
Aside from the terrorists, the President reminded the military that the proliferation of illegal drugs is also one of the state's enemies.
"We are fighting for the survival of the nation. We have to make (it) safe, we have to assure the next generation will be freed of these vagaries of life especially drugs because it will affect the quality of this nation," he said.
"Try to make this country as peaceful as it can ever be. On my order to finish them all, let me tell you time and again, I take full, legal, responsibility for it. I and I alone, wherever, will go to prison. You can enjoy your freedom. I will take the risk. I am old, I am disposable," Duterte said.
As the AFP celebrated its eight-decade of service, Duterte recognized the military's significant contributions not only in defending the country from its enemies but also for its humanitarian and disaster response.
The President cited the recent earthquake in Mindanao. He said the nation is very grateful for the AFP's service.
He then urged the public to love the government forces as they are not only soldiers but also servers and runners of the country.
"If there is an earthquake, they are in the area. If there is flooding, they are in the area. If there is a volcanic eruption, they are in the area. If there is a landslide, they are in the area digging... If there is disorder, they establish the order. If there is a lawless environment, they provide stability," he said.
"Our soldiers, they are everything and that is why you should love your soldier. All of us, let us help them," Duterte added.
Duterte said the government is celebrating the anniversary of AFP with optimism that the succeeding generation of uniformed personnel will foster stronger and more dependable armed forces as well as safer and more secure Philippines.
"I am therefore asking you to remain committed to your duty as the primary force in realizing lasting peace, sustainable development across our country," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS