Prepare for multiple terror attacks, Duterte tells troops

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CAMP TECSON, BULACAN: President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday urged the military to be prepared for multiple terror attacks as he announced Russia’s donation of guns to help fight terrorists.

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In remarks during the groundbreaking ceremony of a housing project, Duterte announced that Russia would give the Philippines 5,000 Kalashnikov rifles.

He warned the public against the looming threat of terrorism, which he said would not go in seven or 10 years. He urged the military to be ready for multiple attacks.

“I am very sad we have lost a lot of men in Marawi and I just said, there will be no letup until the last terrorist is taken out…This ISIS-inspired terrorism will not go in about seven to 10 years. There will be violence everywhere,” Duterte said, using another name for the Islamic State (IS).

In a chance interview, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the military equipment from Russia would arrive on October 22 and turned over on October 25.

Lorenzana said the Philippines remained open to joint military exercises with Russia.

“We don’t have an agreement for that yet,” Lorenzana said. “But we can send troops to Russia. Small groups, of course observe their exercises, and then later on to participate,” he added.

The President had said he would seek a loan from Russia to buy firearms after the United States halted a rifle deal over his administration’s track record on human rights.

Duterte asked Russia President Vladimir Putin for a loan during their meeting at the Kremlin in May.

This came hours before the Philippine President flew to Manila to check the situation in Marawi, which was attacked by bandits with ties to the Islamic State.

On May 23, a group led by Omar and Abdullah Maute and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon attacked Marawi to put up an Islamic State province, prompting President Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.

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