MANILA: President Duterte said Indonesian and Malaysian troops can enter the Philippines in pursuit of terrorists.
Speaking to reporters upon his arrival from a state visit to India, where he attended the India-Asean Commemorative Summit, the president said all Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur should do was to inform the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that they were pursuing terrorists.
“I will allow troops of Indonesia and Malaysia to come in if they are pursuing a lead and they would think that they are able (to defeat terrorists). Just inform the Armed Forces about it,” he said.
Duterte said Philippines was even willing to join the foreign operating troops.
“Or we can be of assistance. If it is joint operation, you bring along my soldiers because that’s what I’ve been saying. Hot pursuit in the seas,” he said.
Duterte said he had already told Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak that their forces were free to pursue terrorists in Philippine territory.
“I said if it’s terrorists, my advice to them is just blow them up. And that’s my suggestion to the meeting. Blow them up,” he said.
He said he had run out of patience, especially regarding the activities of the Abu Sayyaf, a militant-extremist group based in the southern Philippines which had been snatching victims from as far as Malaysian or Indonesian territories.
The bandit group was also known to decapitate victims whose relatives could not pay ransom money, as in the case of Canadians Robert Hall in June 2016, and John Ridsdel two months earlier. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network