Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said that his orders to his security forces are to “wipe out” Islamist militants.
“Kaya kung patayin yan sila huwag kaya magtataka. And my orders are since this is war and I did not ask for it. The people, hindi naman nila hiningi. If it’s war, my orders really are to wipe them out. Everyone. If you shoot him in the head, shoot him in the heart para sigurado,” he said while speaking to newly appointed officials according to The Philippine Star.
The entire island of Mindanao was placed under military rule last week, following heavy fighting between the military and the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf both of which have pledged their allegiance to ISIS. Following the attempted arrest of Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, a firefight broke out in the city, The Philippine Star reports.
This led to Islamist militants taking over parts of the city and engaging the military and police forces in combat.
120 Islamist fighters have been killed so far and according to figures that were released earlier in the week, 20 have died while fighting for the government. 19 civilians have been killed in the fighting.
Duterte said that government fighters could shoot the terrorists in the heart and head to make sure they were dead. He also said there would be no imprisonment for them while miming a throat being slit.
“On top of that, I’m facing three fronts. I have terrorism in Mindanao, the drug problem at yung mga ordinaryong [krimen],” he said.
See Duterte’s full speech below.