President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Sunday, June 4, that the military could eliminate the local terrorist groups in Marawi City.
In his speech during his visit to Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base here, President Duterte insisted that he would not negotiate with the Maute group and suspected members of the Islamic State, who have been occupying some parts of the city, ordering the troops to further intensify their offensive.
“Nagpunta kayo dito naghanap ng gulo sa Pilipinas, lalo na kayong mga foreigners, you are the extremist guys, you do not want to do nothing with the world except to kill and destroy. Eh kung ‘yon ang gusto ninyo ibibigay ko talaga sa inyo,” Duterte said before members of military and police who successfully foiled an attack of Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol last April.
“I will not negotiate. Wala akong pakialam kung anong gawain ninyo ngayon diyan. You do it because pagabot ng panahon kung nakakaintindi kayo ng Bisaya, I will not spare your life,” he added.
The Chief Executive pledged that he would give all the support to the Armed Forces including more defense and air assets and additional troops in order to end the crisis once and for all.
He lamented that he had lost scores of soldiers and policemen from the siege but said the military would not stop until they have freed the city of terrorist groups.
“You started the ruckus, we did not ask for it, you were all along brutal and cruel. At hindi ako papayag ng ganon… Magkaubusan na tayo diyan. We have crossed the bridge of rubicon, ika nga. Hindi ako aatras diyan,” he said.
Duterte noted that it could have been easy for him to eliminate the Maute group in Marawi but laws and various agreements and treaties have prevented him to do so.
“They (military) cannot just fire at will at all people because we are government and we are bound by rules. We are bound by agreements and we are bound by treaties. And even without that, we should know that we are fighting fellow Filipinos,” he said.
The Commander-in-Chief flew in straight to Cebu from Subic, Zambales to attend the traditional boodle fight with soldiers. He thanked them for remaining true to their mandate of protecting the country from all threats especially terrorism.