President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte warned his troops Tuesday that they should never allow enemies of the state to capture them alive.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is fighting a bloody battle to liberate the city of Marawi, which Muslim militants with ties to the Islamic State overran late May. Airstrikes have destroyed whole sections of the city, hundreds of people have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
The Filipino military is also involved in armed conflicts with communist rebels, which have targeted government security forces.
“In places where there is no hope, don’t surrender,” Duterte said Tuesday, turning over new firearms to the soldiers. “They’ll strip you of your dignity. After that, they’ll make kneel in front of the television and kill you.”
The Islamic militants in the country, particularly the southern regions, have been known to execute captives publicly and brutally. “It is very horrifying and traumatic for family members to see that,” Duterte remarked.
The president is providing new sidearms — .45 pistols — to troops to protect them even when they are off duty, as rebels have continuously attacked soldiers outside of camp. He also plans to give soldiers additional ammo, most of which is meant for the enemy.
“What I don’t like is unarmed people get killed. Without a fight. I told myself, this cannot happen. I need to place my soldiers on equal footing with them,” Duterte stated, “Do not surrender alive. You have that gun, fight. Is that clear?”
“I will give you a pistol with three magazines, but remember one is for you and two are for the enemies,” he told the military.
“That third magazine, the three bullets there, that’s for you. When you get cornered, all you have to do is raise your right hand, raise your middle finger, put the gun in your mouth, fuck you,” Duterte told his troops, adding that he doesn’t mind losing weapons, but troops better not be alive when they do.
The president is changing “stupid” policies which prohibit off-duty military personnel from carrying a firearm to defend themselves from the numerous enemies roaming around the Philippines who put troops and civilians in danger.
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