MANILA, Philippines— In reaction to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) proposed “all-out offensive” against Muslim insurgents, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asks: “Do you know the cost of war?
Duterte was reacting to AFP chief Gregorio Catapang Jr.’s orders to escalate operations against Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines region; which has long been a hotbed of insurgency against the government.
The orders were given following a spate of terror-driven bomb attacks carried out by the rebels against the local communities in the area.
Duterte, however, questioned Catapang’s decision.
In his speech at the founding anniversary of the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila, Duterte said: “I grew up there, I understand them (people of Mindanao). For a military man to say that, do you know the cost of war?”
The recent string of terror attacks on villages in Mindanao have caused thousands of civilians to flee, in the midst of fighting between government troops and Muslim rebels.