Filipino strongman tells IS militants to 'forget human rights'

Filipino strongman tells IS militants to 'forget human rights'
2 min read
15 Nov, 2016
President Duterte has predicted that the Philippines could be IS' next target, and warned he will show the militants no mercy if they wage war in the country.
Critics say President Duterte is becoming an autocrat [AFP]
Under pressure in Syria and Iraq, Islamic State group militants could move into the Philippines, the country's controversial President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Monday.

And he had a message for IS militants thinking about taking root in South East Asia: If you enter the Philippines, forget about your human rights.

"Once the terrorists of the Middle East are deprived of the land... they will wander to other places and they will come here and we have to prepare for that," he told security chiefs, according to Reuters.

"Remember, these guys, they do not have an iota of what is human rights, believe me. I will not just simply allow my people to be slaughtered for the sake of human rights, that's bulls**t."

He warned militants that he would apply the same draconian measures on "terrorists" that he has on drug dealers and users.

During his time as mayor of Davao City - and now as president - hundreds of suspected drug dealers have been shot dead by police and vigilante groups, while Filipino jails have filled to breaking point.

The tough line he has taken on law enforcement and his proud indifference to human rights for criminals has seen him face flack from the West.

In one very public spat, he insulted US President Barack Obama following US unease at Duterte's policies, saying that the Philippines would move away from Washington towards China's zone of influence.

Now the former prosecutor is looking at ending an ongoing Islamist insurgency in the Muslim-majority island of Mindinao through force.

Among them is the hard-line Islamists Abu Sayyaf, whose leader recently swore allegiance to IS.

The group which numbers a few hundred fighters has waged a brutal war on civilians and security forces alike, and is holding 21 foreign hostages to ransom with the threat of death looming over them.