President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday, February 16, that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are actively pursuing the Abu Sayyaf group in Mindanao.
“The Sulu based ASG is focused on kidnap for ransom. The Basilan based ASG under (Isnilon) Hapilon remains focused on assimilating the IS violence today,” Duterte said during his speech at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni homecoming in Baguio City.
“I have directed AFP and PNP to continuously contain the ISIS threat to intensified operation using all available assets or resources, this is the only way to secure Mindanao,” Duterte said.
Duterte added that Hapilon was severely wounded in an encounter with the military.
In his speech, where he is an adoptive member of class 1967, Duterte also reiterated that illegal drugs is one of the threats facing the nation today.
“Today these threats face the nation. First is illegal drugs, little did I know that the drug problem was more complex until tens of thousands of drug users starting turning themselves in.”
With the operation against illegal drugs earlier conducted by the PNP with the support of AFP, the president said that it was by and large successful.
“I directed the PNP with the support of the AFP to conduct a war against illegal drugs and it was by and large successful,” Duterte said.
With these threats facing the country, Duterte said, “I need the help of each one especially the military. Not for social control, but protection to the citizens from the lawless, reckless, and the selfish.
He encouraged the PMA to continue the tradition of “discipline and civility,” and “together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos, Filipinos worthy of their nation,” Duterte said.