This time, it’s the pirates that have gotten the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking before Caloocan residents during the Bonifacio Day celebration at the Andres Bonifacio Monument in Caloocan, the President ordered the Philippine Navy to “kill” pirates in the Sulu and Celebes seas as he seeks a stop to the problem of piracy in the waters.
“If they (Philippine Navy) are positive that they (suspects) are pirates, you blow them to kingdom come,” Duterte said.
“Patayin niyo na lahat para matapos na ang problema ko at ng Pilipino,” he added.
The President said he had spoken to Indonesian president Joko Widodo and Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad and asked them to form a task group that would hunt pirates lurking the waters bordering their countries.
“I said it’s high time that we form a task force, not to intrude into waters of other countries, but just to patrol your waters incessantly and accurately,” the President said.
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have been conducting naval patrols in the Sulu Sea since 2017 in an effort to curb cross-border kidnapping-for-ransom activities in the area.
The three countries also stepped up patrols in their waters in 2017 after authorities intensified operations against such activities blamed on Islamic State-linked rebels based in the southern Philippines.