Duterte urges Aquino to take full responsibility for Mamasapano mission
DAVAO CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said President Benigno Aquino III must take full responsibility for the botched operation to get international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25 that left 44 police commandos, 18 Moro rebels and five civilians killed.
In an interview with reporters in Dumaguete City at the office of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, Duterte said that while he did not want to offend the President, somebody should tell Aquino to step forward and take the blame for the ill-fated operation.
“I do not want to offend the President but somebody has to tell him that he has to stop this blame game by taking full responsibility for what happened in Mamasapano,” a press release from his office quoted Duterte as having said.
Duterte was in Dumaguete City holding dialogues with people in two universities to advocate for federalism, which he said would be the best option should the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law fail to pass in Congress.
“As Mayor of Davao City, for example, I take full responsibility for whatever happens in an operation which I order to be implemented,” he said.
Unless somebody owns up the responsibility for the disastrous mission, the investigation of the Senate and the blame game between the military and the police will continue projecting divisiveness in government, according to Duterte.
Aside from Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental, Duterte and his group will visit Dapitan City and Dipolog City to advocate for federalism.
Talking before some 700 students of the Silliman University, Duterte said federalism has become the only option left now to address the problems in Mindanao
Duterte said a federal state could be established for the Muslim provinces of Central Mindanao and another federal State for the island provinces of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.
He added that a federal Philippines would enhance the development of the outlying regions of the country, which have long been neglected by the central government in Manila.
Duterte also cited the case of Palawan, which has been demanding from the national government its share from the Malampaya gas funds amounting to P73 billion which the national government has failed to pay.
Duterte will also visit the cities of Dagupan in Pangasinan, Baguio and Angeles in Pampanga next week as he continues the “Listening Tour” aimed at pushing for a shift to a federal system of government while at the same time feeling the pulse of the people who have been clamoring for Duterte to consider running for President in 2016.
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