Duterte asks Abu Sayyaf to have a dialogue with him
Updated 7 p.m.
President Rodrigo Duterte has invited the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to have a dialogue with him so that they could solve the problem of Muslims fighting in Mindanao.
Duterte said that members of the ASG should just wait for peace and order to settle in Mindanao consdering that the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) had already been signed.
“Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera,” Duterte said in a speech in Jolo, Sulu on Friday.
[Let’s just give it time. Let’s stop making war.]
The President visited Jolo to lead the distribution of relief goods to at least 5,000 families or around 30,000 individuals who were left homeless after a fire broke out last Tuesday, July 24, in Barangay Bus-bus.
The fire quickly spread to the nearby barangays of Walled City and Lambayong, which razed about 2,600 houses.
“Wala naman problema mamatay tayo. Mamatay man tayo lahat. Ang problema, ang mahirapan ang mga bata, matanda, pati mga babae. Mag-iwan lang tayo ng maraming orphans. Maglaki ng walang tatay. Hirap ang nanay,” he added.
[There’s no problem if we all die. But the problem is that it’s the children, the old people, and the women who would suffer. We would leave a lot of orphans who would grow up without fathers. And the mothers would have a hard time.]
Duterte then announced his invitation to the Abu Sayyaf Group: “Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo. Ano bang gawain natin? Magpatayan tayong lahat? Ako, pwede niyo akong patayin maski saan. Anong makukuha ninyo?”
[You in the Abu Sayyaf, let’s just talk. What do you want to do? Do want us to just kill each other. You can kill me anywhere. But what will you gain by that?]
“O, kung mamatay itong mga sundalo ko bukas, marami namang papasok. Walang katapusan. Noon pa ‘to eh. Ngayon, may Presidente kayo na may dugong Moro. ‘Di bigyan ninyo ako konting panahon,” Duterte added.
[If my soldiers get killed tomorrow, there will be others who will replace them. It’s not going to end. This has been going on for a long time. Now, you have a President who has Moro blood. So just give me a little time.]
Duterte announced the signing of the BOL on Thursday during his speech in Zamboanga City.
The Senate unanimously ratified the BOL on Monday while the House of Representatives ratified it on Tuesday.
The BOL seeks to replace an existing poverty- and conflict-wracked Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with a potentially larger, better-funded and more powerful region named Bangsamoro for the minority Muslims.
It is also the latest attempt by the government to solve the nearly half a century of on-and-off Muslim fighting that killed more than 120,000 people. /atm
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