By Lily O. Ramos
MANILA (PNA) – Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on Monday called on Filipinos to unite behind President Rodrigo Duterte in his quest to end terrorism and criminality in the country.
“We should unite and rally behind President Duterte in his quest to remove the threat of terrorism in the country,” Estrada said in an interview as several sectors have raised concerns on the “state of lawlessness” declared by Duterte over the weekend following the Davao City bomb blast.
“Ang masasabi ko (All I can say is), go Mr. President! Do not waver. Do not get distracted by what is happening in Davao City kasi tinatakot lang siya ng mga yan (because they are just scaring him),” Estrada said, referring to the Abu Sayyaf Group’s (ASG) laying claim to the bomb attack.
As Duterte goes after the ASG and other terrorist and criminal groups, Estrada said the President should press on with his anti-narcotics drive.
“He should continue his campaign, his all-out war against drugs and extremists. I support him all the way,” Estrada said.
Earlier, the former president expressed his full support for Duterte’s war against the ASG, an Islamist extremist group that has been carrying out bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and extortion since 1991.
On July 23, 2014, Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon swore an oath of loyalty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), simply known as ISIS.