Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has sent a message to his soldiers that they should not hold back when fighting ISIS, not under any circumstances.
He told soldiers to,
“…not hesitate to engage just because there are civilians. It is the duty of the civilians to flee or seek cover. We will face charges, sometimes massacre, you know a bullet hits through and through, one squeeze of the Armalite, it bursts out about three, four. Keep on pressing”.
“And my orders to you, if he carries a gun, he is not a soldier, he is not a policeman, just kill him. That is my order, because they will kill you”.
Duterte’s is clearly a solder’s commander in chief. He wants his soldiers to protect themselves against an ISIS force that in the six weeks of battle in the southern Philippine city of Marawi have proved as tenacious as they are barbaric.
Thus far 71 Philippine soldiers have been killed fighting ISIS.
Duterte paid tribute to the dead saying,
“I really wallow in sorrow, because I’m the one who ordered you to go there and fight, that is the moral burden that I carry all day and all night”.
Duterte was recently seen weeping over the coffin of a slain Philippine soldier. Duterte’s remarks will almost certainly be twisted by the western mainstream media into a call for barbarism, but this is not what they represent.
Duterte wants his soldiers to both win the war and to protect themselves as they fight against a force more vicious than any previous insurgencies which have plagued Philippines in recent history.