President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged the governments of Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia to work in close partnership against maritime piracy.
Duterte made the appeal during the 9th anniversary of the Mindanao Development Authority and the 25th anniversary of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) in Davao City Tuesday evening.
“I call upon the BIMP-EAGA. We are doing commerce. Our navies must be vigilant. We have to be one in our patrols,” he said.
In his speech, Duterte ordered the military to purge the Abu Sayyaf militant group, known for engaging in kidnap-for-ransom operations, from its strongholds.
“If there are pirates in our territory or in the high seas, my orders are blast them to kingdom come. Just the same, they are arrested, they go to prison, you do not have witnesses because the victims are… Once they are freed, they would not even wait for a minute to issue a statement to go home because they are scared. So justice seems to be an illusion, it’s a mirage actually floating in the seas,” according to him.
“So these pirates, they have no souls, I assure you just like me. I am telling the military forces, finish them off,” he concluded.