Duterte: Abu Sayyaf can be crushed in a week

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Davao City (CNN Philippines) – President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday that he wants the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) neutralized swiftly as part of his campaign to prioritize peace and order.

"If we unleash the firepower of the armed forces, ang problema lang baka it will also enflame passions because minsan, may babae, bata, tinamaan," he said at a military event. "But kung talagang todasin natin 'yan, matapos natin isang linggo 'yan, to the last man."

[Translation: If we unleash the firepower of the armed forces, the only problem will be that it might also inflame passions because, sometimes, there are women and children caught in the crossfire. But if we really go after them, we will finish them in one week, down to the last man.]

Duterte's speech came after the ASG had recently beheaded a teenager in Sulu. The victim's family failed to pay the ransom demand.

The incident is part of the ASG's long history of extreme brutality – which includes kidnapping foreigners on the country's southern sea borders – making it among the world's most feared terror groups.

Read: Who are the Abu Sayyaf?

Duterte, who says he is of Moro heritage, believes he has a full grasp of the Moro struggle in Mindanao and the need to rectify historical injustices committed against them. However, he has taken exception to the ASG.

"And here you are slaughtering people as if they are chickens in front of the public," he said. "Nawala ang respeto ko, nawala ang bilib ko sa inyo [I lost my respect and belief in your group]. Kaya I would not hesitate to order the Armed Forces of the Philippines: Kill them. Destroy them."

Unlike the war on drugs, where Duterte has ordered law enforcers to kill drug suspects if they fight back, the president has specific orders to his troops in running after the terrorists.

"Guys, you don't have to kill," he said. "If you can capture them, announce your authority."

So far, the military has killed 11 ASG members in an operation in Jolo on Friday.

Read: Government troops kill 11 Abu Sayyaf members

CNN Philippines Digital Producer VJ Bacungan contributed to this report.