PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has turned down the proposal of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari to include the Abu Sayyaf group in the ongoing peace talks and grant it an amnesty.
In a speech delivered before the Philippine Marines in Taguig City on Tuesday evening, Duterte said he had been waiting to have a dialogue with Misuari but the latter allegedly asked him to also pursue peace negotiation with the Abu Sayyaf bandits.
"I've been waiting for Nur Misuari but he seems to be equivocal because his new proposal is to include the Abu Sayyaf. And if time comes that we will be okay, he wants [me] to grant them general amnesty," the President said.
"If that's the case, it's better not to talk. I will not [talk to Abu Sayyaf]. For the life of me, I will not," he added.
Duterte said he would never give the bandit group an amnesty as it does not stop doing illicit acts. He even ordered the state forces to undergo rigid training so they could be able to "destroy" Abu Sayyaf.
He said that "as a matter of principle," he would not talk to the rebel group.
The President said that there would never be a successful dialogue should Misuari insist that the bandits be included in the peace talks.
"Mindanao would be a problem, then so be it. Then, wait for the next President if he wants. I don't like that. I do not want because as a matter of principle, I will not accept such style," Duterte said.
"So it would be another strategy. I really do not know. Either Nur abandons the Abu Sayyaf or he will take care of the Abu Sayyaf," he added. (Sunnex)