The President calls for any member of Maute group to surrender and NPA rebels to cooperate.
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he will give "fair trial" and "due process" to any member of the Maute group who will surrender to the government.
During his visit in Camp Evangelista, Barangay Patag in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, September 9, Duterte said the government would even provide lawyers to the terrorists.
“This has to end, this cannot go on. Kung mag surrender, we will try them in court, give them due process and and provide them lawyers. There will be no oppression or harassment or anything. No violence upon their surrender, yan ang i-guarantee ko sa inyo,” he said.
“Pag mag-surrender, walang sabihin na gutumin, bugbugin, hindi ganon. I will not also allow it, they are not POWs (prisoners of wars), they are simply criminals, period. Yun ang problema ko, kasi ako ang managot diyan lahat pagkatapos nito. They will be treated as criminals. If they surrender, they will be prosecuted, but they will be treated as human beings. If they fight, then the state has the right to kill them, it’s rebellion,” he added.
Duterte said the war in Marawi could have ended sooner, if not for the terrorists hiding in mosques.
He said he cannot destroy the ‘holy buildings’ as he would have wounded the Muslims all over the world.
“I am not placing any timetable, kasi pag sinabi nila na they need another six months. So, we’ll just have to wait. I am willing to wait one year,” he said.
“They just surround the place, and camp there until kingdom come, if it could save lives, pero kung wala na, I say this has to end, and I dread the day that it would, then I must be prepared to explain to the Filipino nation what happened,” he said.
Meanwhile, Duterte threatened again to impose martial law nationwide if the NPA rebels would continue to carry out an overt act to destroy the government.
He said he is also aware of the meetings held by NPA rebels and their supporters.
“Kasi ang NPA, active yung front nila, wala na silang tago-tago, their meetings are in public. So, hinayaan ko lang, pati yung leftist organizations, harap-harapan na nakikipagkita na sila. Hayaan mo, but do not commit the mistake of staging a rebellion,” he said.
“I will not hesitate to impose martial law all over the country, and order the arrest of everybody, may kampo ako o wala, hindi ako mananakot, pero gagamitin ko talaga ang armed forces pati pulis, ayaw ko makipagpatayan pero if you do that, I will arrest all of you, sinasabi ko lang sa inyo yan, wag kayong magkamali, you can demonstrate in the streets in the coming days, I am ordering the military to stay in the barracks but be prepared for what, ang pulis sabi ko, sa station lang kayo, we just assign,” he said.
“Kung mag-demonstrate sila lahat, marami, okay fine, pababain lahat sila apil yung nasa bukid, I don’t mind, but I will declare that day a holiday, no government office, mga studyante, kung gusto ninyong sumali, you are free but do not resort to destruction and trouble because I will order the military and the police to go against you,”
“Do not create trouble here, alam ko ang mga legal front nila nag-usap harap-harapan na, okay lang yun, pero wag kayong magkamali na magsunog dito, I will not accept it, ang kaharap ninyo baril, sigurado yan, and if you want something to happen, let it happen, para magkaalaman na kung ano ba talaga itong bayan natin,” he said.
“Let us go into spasm, wala akong problema diyan, ambush dito, ambush doon, nauubos na sundalo ko pati pulis, walaman kayong stasyon, so wala akong magantihan. Ang hinihintay ko, an overt act to destroy government, I do not expect anything, but I am prepared for everything,” Duterte added.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 11, 2017.