Duterte: Too late to talk peace, spare no Maute rebel
(Updated, 10:48 p.m.)
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Spare no Maute rebel.
Saying he had lost many soldiers and policemen from the attack of the Maute Group in Marawi City, President Duterte said Sunday night that it was too late to talk peace now and indicated he wanted the rebels dead.
“I will not talk to you. Whatever the leaders of the group say, I don’t care. that is why make sure you fight well because I have ordered (the military) to bring the heads of these sons of the bitches,” the President said.
“You started a wrong cause. We did not ask for it. You were all along brutal and cruel. I won’t allow it,” the President said in a speech at the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu.
The President said he had ordered soldiers to “shoot (the enemy) and shoot you dead.”
“I’m not ready to talk to any terrorist. Mag kaubusan na tayo dyan (We will annihilate each other on this)… We have cross the.. Rubicon. Hindi ako aatras diyan (I will not yield)). Mag-ubusan tayo para matapos na (Let’s finish off each other to end this),” he said.
President Duterte also said the National Democratic Front of the Philippines offered to help fight the Maute Group but he told them “not at this time.”
He said he was willing though to integrate not only the New People’s Army rebels who surrender their arms but also the Moro Nationalist Liberation Front in the military.
At one point in his speech, the President rejected the idea of negotiating with the Maute Group even if they threatened to kill their hostages.
“Patayin na ninyo ang lahat na hawak ninyo (Maute terror group). Hindi ako makikipag-usap sa inyo. Wala akong pakialam ano ang gawin ninyo. (You can kill all your hostages. I will never talk to you. I don’t care what you will do),” he said in a speech before about 500 soldiers and policemen at the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-lapu City past 7 p.m.
“I will not talk to any terrorist. I have crossed the bridge. Ubusan na tayo. (Let’s finish off each other) If you want to invade another city, fine. Hindi ako aatras. Ubusan na tayo. ((I will not back down. Let’s finish off each other.) Yong haka-hakang peace talks (Those rumors about peace talks)? Forget about it,” he added.
President Duterte flew to Lapu-Lapu City to meet with the soldiers and policemen who neutralized all 11 Abu Sayyaf members who entered Bohol last April 10 in several operations that lasted for more than a month.
Rice, lechon (roasted pig), bam-i (noodle dish from cebu), tortang talong (fried eggplants with eggs), and banana were laid out on banana leaves for a communal meal called boodle fight.
Also present were Lt. General Oscar Lactao, commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Central Command; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas; and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino.
As government troopers successfully neutralized all ASG members in Bohol, President Duterte mandated all soldiers and other law enforcers to kill all the terrorists in Mindanao.
“My order is to shoot to kill. If you encounter those idiots, kill them. Barilin ninyo sa ulo. Isali pa ninyo ang puso. Problem pa natin kung saan sila ilagay. Baka, iliberate pa sila ng kanilang mga kasamahan (Shoot them in the head. You can also shoot the heart. They would just become a problem if we capture them alive. They might be rescued by their comrades),” he said.
“Dalhin ninyo ang mga ulo ng mga iyan (You can bring their heads with you). They started it. They were brutal and cruel. That I cannot allow. We will deal with them just as we would deal with any terrorists, he added.
President Duterte said it could have been easy for him to neutralize all the terrorists in Marawi City but the presence of the civilians who might get killed in the crossfire complicated attack strategies.
“I can finish the job in 24 hours. All I have to do is to use our air assets, bomb and flatten the place. The government can do that. What hampers us is we can’t fight like the rebels. We are mandated to preserve our country and people,” he said. “We can’t fire at will at the people because we are government bounded by rules, agreements, and treaties.”
The President’s order to kill violent groups in Mindanao does not include the Moro National Liberation Front.
President Duterte said he recently talked to Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front who expressed willingness to let his members join and cooperate with the government.
“Misuari wants to join us. I can take them in. Bring your guns, surrender, and you wil be enlisted at the AFP (Armed Forces of the
Philippines,” he said.
President Duterte reiterated his plan to shift to a federal form of government if only to give much help and assistance to people in Mindanao. “Injustice has been made to Moro people. By going federalism, we get a new structure for Mindanao. That is my task for the next five years,” he said. AC/SFM
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