A” I WILL NOT SPARE YOUR LIFE!”
President Rodrigo Duterte dished out this warning as government forces pressed on with their assaults against remaining terrorists holed out in buildings in Marawi City.
The President assured on Sunday, June 4, that the military could eliminate the local terrorist groups who attacked and occupied parts of the Lanao del Sur capital city last week.
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.
Duterte and the military feasted on rice, pancit, fish, pork lechon, scrambled eggs and fruits during the communal meal. (PND)
OVER IN 24 HOURS
In Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, June 3, President Rodrigo Duterte said he can end the conflict in Marawi City in just a day, but not without inflicting heavy losses on both properties and civilian lives.
Faced with this tough choice, Duterte said he would rather leave it up to government forces to flush out the terrorist Maute group at their own pace, with the least collateral damage.
On top of this, Duterte pointed out that the government has moral and legal obligations to the international community, both as a member of the United Nations and a signatory to the Geneva Convention, which seek to protect individuals, specially civilians, who are not taking part in hostilities during times of armed conflict.
With hundreds of civilians still trapped in the city, the President said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been restricted to launch a full-blown aerial attack.
“I can end this war in 24 hours. All I have to do,” he said, “is bomb the whole place (Marawi) and level it to the ground,” Duterte said during his visit Saturday to the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division headquarters at Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Barangay Patag,, to visit soldiers wounded in action in the Marawi skirmishes between the local terror group and the armed forces.
The injured soldiers were among those hit in the “friendly fire” in one of the military’s airstrikes intended for Maute members.
The air-to-surface assault killed 11 soldiers in the process. The Department of National Defense is still investigating what caused the botched bombing.
During his visit, the President gave out medals, .45 caliber handguns, PHP100,000 checks, and smartphones for wounded soldiers. He said the soldiers can use the phones to get in touch with his office for concerns.
The wounded soldiers are from various units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said Captain Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesperson of the 4th Infantry Division.
He said the WIAs were airlifted from Marawi.
“They began arriving on May 24th until June 2nd,” Capt. Martinez added.
Martinez said those who are receiving treatment at the camp hospital sustained minor injuries from gunshot wounds and shrapnel.
One of the soldiers who was hit in his left eye will be brought to Manila for treatment, the President said. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/PNA)