Manila, April 20 (IANS) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his intention to provide weapons to civilians in Bohol province to fight against terrorists.
"I intend to also arm the civilians and I will include the civilians," Duterte said at a press conference on Wednesday night during his visit to Bohol.
Duterte assured the people he would grant pardons if the locals ended up killing the suspected terrorists. "If you kill, you do not have to worry, you just go to the police and make a report and state your truth and you won't have any problem," Efe news reported Duterte as saying.
Duterte is planning to consult with the local authorities about his proposal as the local government "might have some objections".
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) 2017 Summit began this week in Bohol, just a week after 13 members of Abu Sayyaf infiltrated the island by boat to allegedly kidnap tourists.
The terrorists confronted official forces earlier on April 11, an incident which left three soldiers, one policeman and six rebels dead.