Duterte orders all-out war vs Lanao del Sur terror groups

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(File photo) President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to use all available assets and weaponry in combating terrorist groups in Lanao del Sur.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered an all out war against terrorist groups in Lanao del Sur.

He said he ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to use "all available assets and weaponry" at their disposal.

"I have ordered a full-press military operation kasi uulit yan. Uulit yan," Duterte said. "And if they're desperate enough they will resume bombing. That is why I said to the military and the police, you embargo the place. You contain them in that area alone, Lanao. Sana wag nang lumabas sa ibang lugar pa."

[Translation: "I have ordered a full-press military operation because they will keep on repeating what they've already done before. And if they're desperate enough they will resume bombing. That is why I said to the military and the police, you embargo the place. You contain them in that area alone, Lanao. I hope they do not go anywhere else.]

"Takot ako sa kanila because historically they use bombs, bomb, IED and they did it several times in my city. The latest one 'yung sa flea market 'yung vending doon sa harap ng Ateneo," he said.

[Translation: I am afraid of them because historically they use bombs, IED, and they did it several times in my city. The latest one was at a flea market in front of Ateneo.]

President Duterte said he's also seeking China's assistance for "precision-guided arms" which he hopes could be loaned to the Philippines.

He said he sees no need to declare a martial law to address terrorism in Lanao del Sur.

But he said he will consider it if the people themselves ask for it.

"When the time comes, ang tao na manghihingi, ibigay ko. But ako satisfied na ako. I'm quite adept to what's available to me now."

[Translation: When the time comes that the people themselves ask for it, I will give it to them. But I am satisfied now. I'm quite adept to what's available to me now.]

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said offensives will primarily be focused in Butig where the Maute group is operating.

"You can say it is an all out war against the Maute groups in Lanao dahil nandoon nga si Isnilon Hapilon with 40 of his people from Basilan with the intention of organizing the… yung ISIS connected group nila doon," said Lorenzana.

[Translation: You can say it is an all-out war against the Maute groups in Lanao because Isnilon Hapilon is there with 40 of his people from Basilan with the intention of organizing the...ISIS connected group that they have there.]

Read: Government vows to stop ISIS from setting up in Mindanao

Lorenzana estimates that there are about 100 to 250 armed Maute supporters in Butig. The defense chief doesn't see the need for stronger offensives in areas outside Lanao del Sur.