Rodrigo Duterte, the notoriously outspoken president of the Philippines, was so enraged by last week's attack on Davao City that he vowed to actually ingest the terrorists behind it and similar acts.
"You know, I am capable of eating a person," Duterte said at a speech in Laos on Monday, according to a translation by Rappler. "I'll really open up the body. Give me vinegar and salt. I'll eat you."
The audience just chuckled in reception to Duterte's comment, which was about terrorism in general, the Jakarta Post reported. But his rage was real. Duterte said he was "not kidding" as he called out Abu Sayyaf, the Islamist militant organization that has been blamed for the Davao City blast that killed more than a dozen people.
"Go ahead. Set off bombs. Time will come when I will eat you in front of the people. I will devour you, and, if I have to, erase you," he said.
Abu Sayyaf denied, then reportedly confirmed, that it orchestrated the Friday attack in Davao City that left 14 people dead and about 70 injured. The group's spokesman, Abu Rami, told local news agency ABS-CBN that the explosion was a "call for unity to all mujahideen in the country," using an Arabic term for fighters carrying out the Muslim holy war.
Abu Sayyaf, whose members have previously sworn loyalty to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group, beheaded an 18-year-old Filipino last month. His death sparked a fight in Sulu between the Philippine Army and the fighters in which about 30 Abu Sayyaf members and 15 state soldiers died, according to CNN.
"There is a crisis in this country involving drugs, extrajudicial killings, and there seems to be an environment of lawless violence," the Associated Press reported Duterte said Friday.
Duterte has been dealing with political challenges, as well, after United States President Barack Obama canceled a Tuesday meeting with him. Duterte had ordered that Obama not ask him about a number of killings of drug dealers, or "son of a bitch I will swear at you," he said.