Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military and police forces to "finish off" and "kill" all communist rebels in the country, prompting fears that it could unleash a new wave of bloodshed similar to his deadly war on drugs.
"I've told the military and the police, that if they find themselves in an armed encounter with the communist rebels, kill them, make sure you really kill them, and finish them off if they are alive," Duterte said on Friday, as he addressed a government meeting aimed at countering communism.
"Just make sure to return their bodies to their respective families."
"Forget about human rights. That's my order. I'm willing to go to jail, that's not a problem," the president added, speaking in his native Visayan language commonly used in the southern island of Mindanao, where the meeting was held.
"I do not have any qualms about doing the things that I have to do."