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Duterte orders troops to blast militants and their hostages

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    South Korean hostage Park Chul-hong, seated right, and Filipino hostage Glen Alindajao, left, prepared to answer questions after being flown into Davao following their release today from their kidnappers in the volatile island of Jolo in southern Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines >> Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he has ordered his troops to bomb extremists who flee with their captives in a bid to stop a wave of kidnappings at sea, calling the loss of civilian lives in such an attack “collateral damage.”

Duterte has previously stated that he had told his Indonesian and Malaysian counterparts their forces can blast away as they pursue militants who abduct sailors in waters where the three countries converge and bring their kidnap victims to the southern Philippines. He said in a speech late Saturday that he had given the same orders to Filipino forces.

He said he instructed the navy and the coast guard that “if there are kidnappers and they’re trying to escape, bomb them all.”

“They say ‘hostages.’ Sorry, collateral damage,” he said in a speech to business people in Davao, his southern hometown.

He said such an approach would enable the government to get even with the ransom-seeking militants. “You can’t gain mileage for your wrongdoing, I will really have you blasted,” he said.

His advice to potential victims? “So, really, don’t allow yourselves to be kidnapped.”

Duterte’s remarks reflect the alarm and desperation of the Philippines, along with Malaysia and Indonesia, in halting a series of ransom kidnappings primarily by Abu Sayyaf militants and their allies along a busy waterway for regional trade.

On Saturday, ransom-seeking Abu Sayyaf gunmen freed a South Korean captain and his Filipino crewman who were abducted three months ago from their cargo ship.

The gunmen handed skipper Park Chul-hong and Glenn Alindajao over to Moro National Liberation Front rebels, who turned them over to Philippine officials in southern Jolo town in predominantly Muslim Sulu province.

The Moro rebels, who signed a 1996 peace deal with the government, have helped negotiate the release of several hostages of the smaller but more violent Abu Sayyaf, which is blacklisted by the U.S. as a terrorist organization for kidnappings, beheadings and bombings.

Duterte’s adviser dealing with insurgents, Jesus Dureza, said he was not aware of any ransom being paid in exchange for the freedom of the sailors. At least 27 hostages, many of them foreign crewmen, remain in the hands of different Abu Sayyaf factions, he said.

There have been persistent speculations, however, that most of the freed hostages have been ransomed off.

Without a known foreign source of funds, the Abu Sayyaf has survived mostly on ransom kidnappings, extortion and other acts of banditry.

A confidential Philippine government threat assessment report seen by The Associated Press last year said the militants pocketed at least 353 million pesos ($7.3 million) from ransom kidnappings in the first six months of 2016.

The militants have mostly targeted slow-moving tugboats in the busy sea bordering the southern Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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      • Off course not….his ordering of the police to summarily execute anyone he considered to be drug users and dealers whether it was verified or not even after they had already surrendered shows his utter contempt for human life which should come as no great surprise as he was engaged in this practice when he was the mayor of Davao …he may yet surpass Marcos as the country’s greatest mass murderer…….

    • Duterte is a hero! Only subhuman fools pay ransom: Ransom promotes only more murders and abductions. Sorry kidnapping victims. You will be sacrificed for the greater good.

      • Pure, genius yet again! You realize that if he orders the deaths of innocent hostages Duterte can call them “collateral damage” all he wants but what they’ll really have become is murder victims. His victims. If his victims happen to be foreign nationals, I hope their own governments (the more powerful the better) place responsibility where it belongs.

      • Are you kidding Allaha? You just contradicted yourself. Duterte promotes murders = Ransom promotes murders.
        Allaha: what if one of those victims is your own flesh and blood? would you still be singing the same tune?
        Duterte “you dirty”.

      • Allaha has a good point. If a ransom is paid, it only promotes more abductions. However, there has to be a better way to solve the problem. It reminds me of our homeless situation. The more we give and provide, the more homeless we get from the mainland and Pacific islands.

        • Used to be America didn’t negotiate with terrorists or kidnappers. Then Obama got elected and traded 5 muslim murderers for a turn coat soldier who converted to Islam.

  • “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth…” Dealing with the enemies whose morals are non existing you just have to be tougher or the kidnapping will never stop!

    • Hehe, maybe the Crazy Shirt made the kidnappers laugh and feel a tiny bit of human compassion for the guy wearing it. I think that’s one of many reasons we wear silly t-shirts.

    • Most of the population are stuck there and unable to immigrate to other countries to escape the economic situation….those who are able to work abroad in foreign countries do menial jobs as domestic help and manual labors in order to support their families back home..it’s a hard life for them…that’s why a lot of the women become mail order brides hoping to find a better life in another country by marrying a foreigner…..

  • There is no dealing with these Islamic bandits who hide behind their religion for their criminal activities. Like many who flock to Islamic Jihad, they are basically criminals
    who see hiding behind the religion as a convenient beard to excuse their criminal way of life. For these low life’s there should not be any mercy and they should be executed
    on the spot whenever they are found. Negotiating with them for payment of ransom for hostages simply encourages more such hostage taking so Duterte is right on this issue.
    Not only would I want these scum executed on the spot but I would bury them with a pig or dog so they can have an appropriate companion on their journey to hell.

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