Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has called the “War on Terror” the “new battle government should prepare for.”
“There will be wars. We have to prepare for Terrorism. Whether you like it or not, the new war coming is ‘Terrorism,’” said Duterte at a press conference this week.
Terrorist groups are expanding from traditional battlegrounds to new areas, including the Philippines, said Duterte. “Their world, their battleground in the Middle East, keeps getting smaller and smaller,” but the same impetus is motivating actions around the world, he said.
ISIS has recognized a number of Philippines Islamist jihadist groups.
The Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) also held their first conference of 2017 this week, focussing on the destruction of local and international terrorist groups operating in the country. The top priority, according to officials, is to quash groups like Abu Sayyaf multi-group and others on the islands, which includes enhancing engagement with stakeholder communities, including local and religious leaders. The AFP is balancing this project with two other main projects: the peace process with the Communist Party and the War on Drugs.