President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday vowed to protect the Philippines from turning into an Islamic State’s new regional center.
The President, during his speech at the 82nd-anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, reiterated the administration’s keen desire to eradicate all forms of terrorist threats after its successful neutralization of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and terrorist leaders Maute brothers.
“We will not allow those who subscribe to the Daesh ideology to succeed. We will never allow the Islamic State to make the Philippines its regional center,” the President said.
Duterte also affirmed that the government will maintain its vigilance as it increases its military operations against the remaining terrorist groups.
“Although we have already begun to rebuild Marawi City and rehabilitate conflict-affected areas, our fight is far from over,” he added.
During the same event, Duterte also recognized the sacrifice of the soldiers who fought to liberate Marawi and assured them of the government’s continuous support saying that they have already allocated Php 50 million fund for the troops being treated at the Medical Center in V. Luna, Quezon City.
On Tuesday night, Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist’s group in a bid to celebrate the holidays with ease.
Malacañang, however, clarified that the declaration of a suspension of military operations (SOMO) would not mean the resumption of peace negotiations with the Reds.