Duterte tells AFP to prepare for war against ISIS-style groups, vows to beef up troops’ equipment

  • President Duterte urged soldiers to prepare for war against terror groups in two to three years
  • He promised to beef up the AFP’s war equipment
  • The fund to buy the equipment will come from the $32 million committed by the United States during Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the country last month

President Rodrigo Duterte urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines to brace for a possible war against Islamic State-like terror groups in the country in two to three years.

During his visit to the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Batallion at Camp Gen. Macario B. Peralta, Jr. in Jamidan, Capiz, the President told soldiers to prepare for war against terrorism two to three years from now. He pledged to give the equipment needed to crush the enemies of the state.

“Just in case we’ll have terrorism but just about… prepare for that two to three years from now. ‘Yung ISIS pati ‘yung style of you know — because we have to deal with the Abu Sayyaf one of these days. Ibibigay ko lahat ng kailangan ninyo [I will provide everything you need] to fight the enemies of the state to be on the advantage on equipments,” Nestor Corrales of Inquirer quoted President Duterte as saying during his speech at the camp.

“When we are prepared here, when I think that things are already in my hands, the things that I would need to fight a war correctly and accurately, we will have to go there and fight,” he added.

The President said he would not order the soldiers to fight the enemies if he thinks they would be in a disadvantaged position.

“Only when we are ready, and we shall have acquired the equipment and I will buy it for you; only when I think that we are on the advantage, theoretically nasa taas tayo [we have the upper hand], kung baga sa ano ito, nandoon na tayo sa [when we are up there on] high ground, with the weapons, with the assets, papasok tayo [we will go in],” he said.

Duterte said he would use part of the $32 million fund committed by the United States during Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit last month to buy military equipment.