DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte said traditional leaders should have reported that the local terrorists are already doing a military buildup in Marawi City.
“Bakit hindi nila sinabi sa pulis, sa akin, sa Armed Forces na may mga foreign trade na pabalik-balik ‘yan. Hindi na ninyo madala sa kwan, and I will not. If they go to the Maute to talk about what? Surrender? O ano lang, areglo? Ganon na lang? (Why didn’t they told the police, or to me, or the Armed Forces about the foreign trade there. You cannot solve that through… and I will not. If they go to the Maute to talk about what? Surrender? Or to have an amicable settlement? Just like that?)” he said.
In an interview with reporters during his visit to the 401st Brigade in Barangay Bancasi, Butuan City on Saturday, Duterte said the leaders do not realize that “they are dealing with ISIS already.”
He said the Maute was already infiltrated by ISIS.
“And their battle cry is really the ISIS. Nakita mo naman mga literature nila at procedure (You saw their literature and procedure). They are there to kill, kill, kill for no reason at all. To destroy, burn, pillage, rampage, for no reason at all,” Duterte said.
Duterte added he will not apologize for anything because “they brought the problem to themselves.”
Duterte added: “Paano ‘yung patay ko? How about the murderous rampage of — ‘yung natamaan ng mga sniper nila? They committed the crime of rebellion and there is the flag of ISIS. If that is not enough, what is it?”
As of 6 pm on June 15, the government claimed 225 enemies killed, 59 government casualties and 208 recovered firearms.
Duterte said because of the preparation of the local terror groups, they “could match the firepower” of the government troops.
The only advantage of the military he said are the air assets, but on the ground, the enemies “do not run out of bullets.”
The Sultanates of Lanao del Sur province and the Imams League sign a petition calling on Duterte to resolve the Marawi crisis in a peaceful approach.
“We urge the Duterte administration to resolve the crisis in a civilized manner through dialogue and peaceful approach. Our people has (suffered) tremendously, affected their socio-economic and religious activities for the past three weeks,” the leaders’ petition reads.
The traditional leaders believed that as respected heads of their communities, they can influence the local terrorists through a dialogue. They said conflicts among the Muslims can be resolved using “traditional negotiations.”
“These radical people in some way, respect the elders of a clan,” they said.
Duterte placed the whole Mindanao under Martial Law on May 23 following the attack of the local terrorist groups in Marawi City.
Duterte said the proclamation covered the whole of Mindanao as the government warns of a “spillover”.
Seven days after Martial Law was declared, Duterte issued General Order No. 1 directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines to “undertake all measures to prevent and suppress all acts of rebellion and lawless violence in Mindanao.” (davaotoday.com)