- President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not wish to wage war in Mindanao despite recent attacks launched by the Maute terrorist group against government forces
- He appealed for talks between the government and communist rebels
- He asked for the support of all Moros in ending the problem in Mindanao
Despite recent attacks launched by the Maute terrorist group against government forces in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte said he does not wish to wage war in the region.
“I come in peace. I do not want war. What is very certain is that I do not want to wage a war against my own countrymen,” Duterte was quoted saying during his visit to Lanao del Sur to check the structures that have been destroyed since by the terrorist group since it occupied the town of Butig.
Earlier, the President warned groups not to try his patience citing that it would be very easy to start a war but that it would be hard to stop and heal the wounds it inflicts, an article published by ABS-CBN News mentioned.
Currently, the military is in the process of retaking Butig but the President assured the people of Mindanao that he was not there to wage war.
As such, the Chief Executive noted that although he is determined to be patient on the matter, he can also become harsh just like what he has launched against illegal drugs trade.
With this, he asked for the support of all Moros in ending the problem in Mindanao.
“Mahal ko kayo at sana tulungan ninyo ako kaysa makipag-away ang gobyerno na wala namang katapusan. Panahon ng Espanol, Amerikano, kay Marcos, hanggang ngayon, so hanggang kailan ito?” he cited.
[I love you all so I hope you can help me instead of fighting with the government. There has been fighting since time of the Spaniards, Americans, Marcos, until now. When will it end?]
In achieving peace, Duterte pointed out the need to talk things over further citing efforts to talk with communist rebels, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and even Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari.
Recently, he said he was open to talking with the Maute group.
“I plead to all of you Muslims Moro political leaders, men of influence, scholars, we can continue talking and try to sort things out,” he lamented.