Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Monday that Islamic State militants driven out of Syria and Iraq could set up in his country, and if that happened he would forego human rights obligations to keep his people safe.

Duterte said the southern Philippine province of Mindanao was already a hotbed of rebellion and banditry and he was worried about “looming terrorism” and an influx of extremists who could exploit the insecurity.

“Remember, these guys, they do not have an iota of what is human rights, believe me. I will not just simply allow my people to be slaughtered for the sake of human rights, that’s bullshit.”

Human rights have been a touchy subject for Duterte, who has vented daily fury at activists and Western governments that have shown concerns about his war on drugs and the high death toll.

A native of Mindanao and mayor of Davao City for 22 years, Duterte said there was a “very strong” Islamist rebellion there and Abu Sayyaf rebels were taking hostages almost every day.

Abu Sayyaf is holding 21 captives, most of them foreign, and despite an ongoing military offensive to wipe them out, its piracy and kidnappings continue unabated.

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Featured image courtesy of Reuters.