Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has responded to the ISIS beheading of two Vietnamese civilian sailors captured off the cost of the Philippine island of Sibago.
The identities of the sailors has been confirmed as Hoang Trung Thong and Hoang Va Hai.
After frosty relations during much of the Cold War, Philippines and Vietnam have become important partners in the region, a friendship which has generally increased under the Presidency of Rodrigo Duterte.
President Duterte responded by renewing his calls to cleanse Philippine society of the terrorist menace. As someone who grew up on the mixed Muslim/Catholic island of Mindanao, Duterte is clearly upset with Salafist groups attempting to increase tensions between religions in southern Philippines.
President Duterte had promised a new federal structure for his country or else autonomy for Muslim regions as a means of permanently enshrining the peace agreements reached between Muslim insurgents and Manila in 2014. The ISIS war of aggression against Philippines is in part designed to destroy these fragile peace plans.
In an impassioned and bold speech Duterte vowed to eat terrorists alive stating,
“I will eat your liver if you want. I will just add salt and vinegar, I will eat it in front of you”.
He continued reminding his audience how he showed clemency to two Vietnamese fishermen in the past who were arrested for poaching. Duterte decided to let them go free as a sign of compassion.
Turning back to the war against terrorism, he stated,
“You want to be enslaved by these? Son of a bitch. Let’s just circumcise ourselves again.What are you really trying to prove with these actions? You take the name of Allah in vain? You use the name of God to kill people that way”.
Duterte has in the past vowed to eat the organs of terrorists who are molesting the peace of his country.
It is becoming increasingly clear that only a blockade by the Philippine navy in addition to continued mobilisation of Philippine soldiers against ISIS will help smoke out the terrorists from southern Philippines.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.