MANILA, July 6, (Agencies): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to eat alive the Islamist militants behind the abduction and beheadings of two Vietnamese sailors in a furious reaction to the killings. The remains of the two hostages, who were kidnapped along with four other crew members of a Vietnamese cargo ship in November last year, were recovered off the southern region of Mindanao by Philippine troops on Wednesday.
The military blamed the killings on the notorious kidnap-for-ransom Abu Sayyaf group with a stronghold in the area, and which is known to behead its hostages unless ransom payments are made. “I will eat your liver if you want me to. Give me salt and vinegar and I will eat it in front of you,” Duterte said in a speech before local officials late Wednesday. “I eat everything. I am not picky. I eat even what cannot be swallowed.” Holding up a mobile phone with a photo of the slain Vietnamese sailors, Duterte angrily cursed the militants.
Duterte also said on Thursday he did not initiate dialogue with Islamist militants occupying a southern town because he would never talk to criminals and terrorists. Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that Duterte was preparing to make a deal with the Islamic State-inspired militants in the days after they occupied the town of Marawi, but he aborted the plan without explanation.