Duterte vows to blast Abu Sayyaf out of the seas

Not for the first time, President Rodrigo Duterte has spoken about his keenness to get very aggressive with pirates in the region.

Speaking at an ASEAN-related event yesterday the Philippine president urged the country’s neighbours to take “drastic action” to fight the piracy scourge in Southeast Asia.

“The Malacca used to be historically a supply route and a shipping lane that was very good for everybody. Of late, terrorism has entered the picture and we see a lot of hijackings and killing of people, and capturing hostages for ransom,” Duterte said, referring to the Islamic militant group Abu Sayyaf. He added that he planned to speak with his counterparts in Indonesia and Malaysia on the issue.

“I hope to talk with the leaders of these countries and we’re willing to put our resources together with theirs to find a solution,” said Duterte, currently chair of the ASEAN this year.

“If I get to talk to the leaders, there is one thing that I can just offer, blast them out of the seas to keep our shipping lanes open and safe,” he added.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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