Duterte says Mindanao ‘relatively peaceful’
MANILA, Philippines — Mindanao is now relatively peaceful, President Rodrigo Duterte said over the weekend.
“I think we have relatively a peaceful Mindanao,” he said in an interview with his spiritual adviser Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
“And for the longest time we have not heard of any kidnapped victim. ‘Yung nandoon sa kanila, kanila lang man ‘yun. But ‘yung mga ika nga mga bisita o hindi tagaroon, medyo nawala na rin (Those in their area, it’s their people. But, the kidnapping of visitors or non-residents has diminished),” he added.
Duterte also noted the government’s “good rapport” with the Moro in Mindanao.
“We have a good rapport with the Moro of Mindanao. And I think that just allow them in the governance of our country and give them enough elbow room to, you know, to just govern without interference of armed groups,” he said.
According to Duterte, he appointed individuals from Mindanao as officials in the government to be inclusive, including recent appointee Commission on Election ad-interim chair Saidamen Pangarungan.
“So sinadya ko ‘yan para wala silang masabi (I intentionally did that so they can’t say) that they are being left out. And for the long list of prosecutors and judges, marami akong in-appoint (I appointed many), lady Moro judges at ‘yung mga (and) prosecutors,” he said.
“I think that we have achieved militarily the objectives of keeping the peace in Mindanao. God willing, if this will be the—if the equilibrium nama-maintain (will be maintained), we are trouble-free,” he continued.
The Third Party Monitoring Team, which was established to monitor the implementation of peace deals between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, recently said that gains have been attained in the Bangsamoro peace process but cited that there are some delays.