Philippine president 'wants to eat IS militants alive'

Philippine president 'wants to eat IS militants alive'
3 min read
06 Jul, 2017
Perhaps President Rodrigo Duterte would like some fava beans and a nice chianti?
Duterte has been described as ruling the Philippines with an iron fist [AFP]
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he would sit down with Islamic State group militants - but only if he can eat their livers... with salt and vinegar seasoning.

The threat from the violently eccentric president came after the bodies of two Vietnamese hostages were found in the southern Philippines. The men were beheaded by Abu Sayyaf militants and their bodies dumped in the undergrowth.

Duterte held a meeting in response to the killings where he waved his phone at officials showing them pictures of their bodies, vowing the ultimate revenge - to devour the bodies of the militants.

"I will eat your liver if you want me to. Give me salt and vinegar and I will eat it in front of you," Duterte said in a speech before local officials late on Wednesday.

"I eat everything. I am not picky. I eat even what cannot be swallowed."  

Duterte launched an assault on Marawi City last month - an Abu Sayyaf stronghold - to dislodge militants from from the southern Philippines.

The fierce campaign has seen troops capture most of the city from the Islamist group, but at the cost of nearly 500 lives and 400,000 civilians forced from their homes.

Duterte is said to have taken a personal interest in the campaign, with militants having launched a bomb attack on his home city, Davao, killing 15 people.

The Abu Sayyaf group emerged on the global scene when al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden pledged seed money to the Islamist group. More recently, some factions pledged loyalty to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Duterte's hardline approach has sparked fears
of a return to dictatorship [AFP]

The militants have kidnapped foreigners for ransom, with captives beheaded if payments aren't made.

During the meeting, the president called the militants "sons of whores" and said the country would not be "held to ransom" by Abu Sayyaf.

Duterte is known for stinging rhetoric and a willingness to openly flout international law.

An anti-drugs operation launched when Duterte came into office has seen up to 9,000 suspected dealers and addicts gunned down. 

Faced with criticism, he compared himself with Hitler and said he would kill millions more addicts, just as Nazis killed Jewish, Roma, gay and disabled people during the Second World War.

"[I will] finish the problem of my country and save the next generation," he said.

Duterte claims to have personally murdered suspected criminals while mayor of Davoa.

"I'd go around in Davao with a motorcycle, with a big bike around, and I would just patrol the streets, looking for trouble also," he said.

"I was really looking for a confrontation so I could kill."

Many of his supporters have dismissed the claims as hyperbole, although US President Donald Trump has praised Duterte's tough approach to law and order.

Human rights groups fear his rhetoric is giving a green light to police officers and troops to carry out extrajudicial killings in the country - with piles of bodies found on the Philippines streets in suspected murders by these government-sanctioned death squads.

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