icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘Duty of civilians to flee’: Duterte tells troops not to worry about collateral damage

‘Duty of civilians to flee’: Duterte tells troops not to worry about collateral damage
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has once again reassured troops fighting an Islamist insurgency in Marawi CIty that he will protect them from legal action, reiterating his desire to retake the city by any means necessary.

In a televised speech, in his brash style, Duterte said that while collateral damage is never intentional, soldiers should “not hesitate to engage just because there are civilians. It is the duty of the civilians to flee or seek cover.”

“We will face charges, sometimes massacre, you know a bullet hits through and through, one squeeze of the Armalite [rifle], it bursts out about three, four. Keep on pressing it,” Duterte said.

Much the same as his notorious rape joke he made in May, Duterte assured his troops that he would personally keep them away from jail in the event that there were any civilian casualties.

“If you raped three [women], I will be the one to admit that it's me,” Duterte said, adding "I'll be with you all the way. If you go down, I go down.”

Philippines authorities had previously pledged to bring the siege to an end by Monday June 12, the country's independence day, but as the fighting drags into its sixth week, Duterte seems to be desperate for a resolution, no matter the cost.

“And my orders to you, if he carries a gun, he is not a soldier, he is not a policeman, just kill him. That is my order, because they will kill us,” Duterte told the troops, as cited by AP.

The overall death toll has reached over 400 and the military claimed Wednesday the Islamic State-affiliated Maute fighters had begun beheading civilians.

Some 71 Philippines military personnel have been reported killed-in-action (KIA), which Duterte lamented in his closing remarks.

“I really wallow in sorrow, because I’m the one who ordered you to go there and fight, that is the moral burden that I carry all day and all night,” he said.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.