The terrorist Maute Group fuels its rebellion with dirty money from illegal drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte told soldiers in North Cotabato on Tuesday, June 6.
Crush the enemy, Duterte ordered the troopers during his visit at the 602nd Infantry (Liberator) Brigade, 6 ID in Carmen town.
The Maute Group joining with another terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, attacked and occupied parts of Marawi City on May 22.
Government troops are on their l6th day of fierce firefight with the terrorists about a hundred of whom are holding out in buildings.
President Duterte has put up a P20 million reward for the capture, dead or alive, of the Maute brothers, leaders of the Maute Group and Isnilon Hapilon who heads the Abu Sayyaf. The two groups have pledged alliance to the ISIS, an international terrorist group considered as the most violent terrorist organization in the world today.
According to President Duterte, it was money coming from illegal drugs trade that funded the rebellion in Marawi City.
“Gentlemen, we are fighting a rebellion. Rebellion is a war, it is not anything that you see everyday, not peace and order o law and order. It will… If we allow it to overcome them, then this country will end something like minus the island of Mindanao,” he said.
“So ‘yung mission ninyo itong rebellion pati drugs is connected with rebellion. Ang pera ng rebellion ginamit nila ang shabu. And that is why I am not ordering, ordering you to an ordinary police action,” he added.
“I am ordering you to crush, pulpugin mo ang kalaban natin kasi hindi ito pangkaraniwang pulis. When I say, “crush them”, you have to destroy everything including lives,” the President said.
The President said he has the same orders for the soldiers on crushing the illegal drug trade.
“Ang durugista, same. You have to destroy the apparatus. Ang apparatus ‘yung mismong diyan nag-aano, nagluluto pati ‘yung nagde-deliver. Kasi kung walang nagluluto, wala ‘yung delivery. Pag wala naman delivery, mahirapan,” he said, adding that it is destroying the country.
“So you go after the last person sa drug apparatus. Kasali diyan middleman, taga-luto, taga-deliver,” he noted.
The President, meanwhile, commended the soldiers for a job well done following its efforts that led to the surrender of numerous members of the New People’s Army.
“First, I would like to congratulate your officers for a job well done. The briefing itself was a splendid one and at no other time, matagal na kayo sa serbisyo — that at no other time maraming mga NPA na nag-surrender and a lot of weapons in the hands of government now,” he said.
“For that alone and the numerous campaigns that you’ve had, you have made me happy this afternoon to see you. And I would like you to know that I love the Armed Forces,” he added.
The Chief Executive vowed to exercise his utmost effort to end the war.
“If it would take me 10 years to do it, I will do it, if I am still around. If I will do it until the end of my term, I will do it,” he said, as he assured that the Armed Forces will receive modern equipment.
“So I hope to repay your services. Pinakamalaking ano ko ngayon ang Armed Forces. Bagong equipment sa inyo, bago lahat. Lahat bago from Jolo to Cagayan,” he said.
“Cagayan nag-deliver ako 30 million. Another 28 million to complete it. Para inyo lang ‘yan,” he added.
He also promised the soldiers that he will take care of the education of their children through a trust fund.
“They will have a good education. May trust fund ako running into billions,” he said. “Hindi na mauubos ‘yang tuition sa mga bata.” (PND/PNA)