Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: VNA) 
Hanoi (VNA) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made the annual State-of-the-Nation Address on July 24, declaring that the anti-drug war will continue, mentioning a plan to modernise the army and vowing to protect the people from extreme Islamic rebels.

In the two-hour address, he said his critics at home and abroad should focus on using their influence to educate Filipino drug addicts.

He pledged to build armed forces over the next two years that could fight on all fronts by recruiting additional 35,000 – 40,000 soldiers, buying more planes, unmanned aerial vehicles and other modern equipment to cope with rising security threats in the country.

About the military campaign targeting Islamic militants in the south, he said protecting civilians and hostages in the conflict zone is of paramount importance. Duterte also defended his decision last week to extend martial law across the southern region of Mindanao until the end of the year.

He added that the Philippine government will issue a new law on mining and consider ending mineral export.-VNA