President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday night urged soldiers to increase their campaign against terrorism, including the immediate elimination of the Abu Sayyaf group.
“There will be no peace agreement. Tapusin niyo na (Finish them) to the last man,” he said.
Duterte issued the marching order during a talk with some 200 soldiers at the Bondad Hall of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (AFP-CentCom) headquarters in Barangay Lahug here shortly before 10 p.m. Friday.
The president also reiterated his stand that there will be no coalition government with communist rebels.
”I will never agree to a coalition government (with communist rebels),” he said.
Duterte also vowed to increase the strength of the AFP by 10,000 soldiers next year and give the military and the police the best equipment.
He said he prefers a negotiated contract in the purchase of military equipment to choose the “lowest bidder which results in the lowest quality”.
The president added that the “lowest bidder process turned out to be the biggest source of corruption”.
He further said that the greatest threat to the country in the next five to ten years is terrorism.
”I want to prepare the country for this,” he said.