Duterte warns Islamist militants: 'I'll eat you alive – just give me vinegar and salt'

The 71-year-old president defends his tough stance against criminality and narcotics trade.

President Duterte says he will resign if Philippine senator proves allegations of illegal wealth
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announces the disbandment of police operations against illegal drugs at the Malacanang palace in Manila, Philippines early January 30, 2017. Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte warned the Islamist militants yet again on Sunday and said that he could be "50 times" more brutal than those beheading people and go as far as to eat the terrorists' alive.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a sports event in Antique province, Duterte said: "The terrorists cut other people's throat, slit it. They are animals. If you want me to be an animal, I am used to that. We are alike. I can dish out more than what you can 50 times over."

"Just give me vinegar and salt, I'll eat you. That's true, and I'll eat his liver," he added.

Duterte referred to the Philippines troops and said: "Do not sleep. Kill them. I want them dead. Do not deliver them to me alive."

These latest comments come just after it emerged that Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Isis), decapitated a Filipino soldier. Military authorities said the soldier's body and head were found near the village of Taglibis in Upper Patikul in Sulu province.

Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana told a local news outlet that the soldiers' body had started decomposing indicating that the captive must have been killed a few days ago.

This is not the first time Duterte has made such comments. In September 2016, he issued a similar warning to the Islamist group Abu Sayyaf after a deadly attack in Davao City that killed 14 people and wounded 67 others. However, the al-Qaeda-linked terror group denied responsibility for the bombing.

The 71-year-old president defended his tough stance against criminality and narcotics trade and said lawless elements like terrorists were already "beyond redemption."

Ever since Duterte took over the office last year, his administration has been waging a relentless war against the drug trade and religious extremists, particularly Abu Sayyaf. In the past few weeks, the military has launched several counter-terror raids to stamp out the Islamists.