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Pres. Duterte orders soldiers to destroy Abu Sayyaf terrorists


President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers on Saturday to destroy and kill Abu Sayyaf terrorists, particularly those who subscribe to the extremist ideology of the Islamic State (IS).

Speaking at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters, Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu Saturday night, Duterte assured his support to the soldiers in their fight against terrorists.

"I assure you that you have my full support as you conduct intensive military operations against these terrorist groups," Duterte said.

His comments came after the Armed Forces of the Philippines suffered several casualties, wherein 22 were wounded-in-action in a clash with members of the kidnap-for-ransom group in Sulu on Thursday, Aug. 23.

The wounded soldiers were troops of the 41st Infantry Battalion, 17 of whom were slightly wounded by M203 shrapnel, three by gunshot wounds and two were by a recoil-less rifle back blast.

A member of the Abu Sayyaf group under ASG subleader Idang Susukan was Killed in the firefight in Patikul, Barangay Langhub at 9:30 a.m. He was identified as Alpata Abdurasa.

"All they (Abu Sayyaf) know is to destroy and kill. Destroy and kill. So my order to you: Destroy and kill also. Why be at a disadvantage?” Duterte added.

The President also reiterated his advice to soldiers to not allow themselves to fall victims or hostages of terrorists groups.

He said that Filipino soldiers are brave and are ready to die for the country. "So make sure you are always safe as you carry out your duty to protect the country from threats, particularly when operating against terrorists."

Meanwhile, Duterte thanked and commended the wounded soldiers for their relentless efforts against various threat groups in their area of operations, especially the Abu Sayyaf.

“I know that you have worked hard throughout your careers and there have been moments when the fight seemed difficult,” Duterte said, adding that “With your bravery, selflessness and patriotism, I am optimistic that we will one day defeat all threats to our democratic institutions and secure a brighter future for our beloved country."

It was learned from Lt. Col. Gerry Besana,  spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), that President Duterte visited the wounded troops under the Joint Task Force Sulu at Camp Bautista Station hospital in Busbus, Jolo to personally award and distribute watches and goods to the sodiers.

"Ang sinabi po ni pangulo sa mga kasundaluhan na wounded ay nagpapasalamat kami sa katapangan at kabayanihan na ginagawa ng mga kasundaluhan para sa bayan at dapat alagaan sila at maibigay ang kung ano para sa kanila sa kanilang pagbubuwis buhay," said Besana. Hader Glang

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