Duterte: Rebels aren’t terrorists

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


DAVAO CITY Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte opposed the stand of the National Government declaring the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA) and other similar groups as terrorists in the country.

Meanwhile, Duterte in his television program "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" on Sunday, that President Benigno C. Aquino III has every right to convey information on terror threats.

He also made it clear that it is not wrong for the city to be prepared thus the 24/7 random checkpoints, mobile and foot patrol of the authorities.

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"As long as Davao City is in Mindanao, dili gyud nato malikayan ang terrorism (we can’t do away with terrorism). It is universal. Terrorism is everywhere. But the New People’s Army, the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), dili na sila terrorists," Duterte said.
Duterte echoed once more the issues in Mindanao, which some rooted from territorial and others were from historical terror and historical injustice. But the government and the other party are trying to strike a comprehensive agreement to attain peace, he said.

"Hibaw-i ninyo, there are no shooting war na mag pinusilay harapan like army and NPA in terrorism. Ang terrorism mga kaigsuonan ko is just about sub-rosa, sekreto ni sila (Terrorists don’t wage shooting wars like the New People’s Army. Terrorism is done in secrecy)," Duterte said.

"The NPA, MILF and MNLF were there a long time ago. Ang sa MI/MNLF is the dignity of the Moro people. Basin pa muingon tag army namatyan ug lima unya 10 sa NPA (Even if we say the army lost five and the NPA lost 10), it does not really mean anything anymore to us because it is there years ago. They don't target civilians and bomb the city," he added.

Duterte, however, reminded the CPP-NPA that the nearest its members can be accused of violating the Geneva Conventions, a body of international law that regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects, is the use of landmines.

"Ang landmine jud ginabawal na. Mao ra na (Use of landmines is prohibited). On that score, I can say it's a little bit of terrorism. But by and large NPA, MI and MNLF are not really terrorists. They do not go around killing innocent people. Pero kining mga radicals mao ning mga Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, Al Qaeda and the likes," Duterte said.

Eastmincom deputy commander Brigadier General Alexander Balutan earlier said the threat information earlier conveyed to the city mayor did not mean to scare the public and cause panic, but for everyone to be cautious.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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