Duterte offers MNLF, MILF, NPA to be soldiers to go after terrorists
President Rodrigo Duterte has offered the Muslim and communist rebels to be enlisted to the military to help the government in fighting the terrorists in Mindanao.
Duterte made the offer after Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding leader Nur Misuari sent a letter to him, suggesting that he could tap the MNLF fighters in going after the Maute Terror Group in Marawi City.
"I am announcing to all the soldiers of the MI, MN, if this (problem) will last long and you want to join, to take chance with the Republic, I am offering them, I will tap you as soldiers, same pay, same privileges, and I will build houses for you in some areas," he said during his visit to Camp Teodulfo S. Bautista in Jolo, Sulu on Saturday. Duterte was referring to the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the former secessionist MNLF, which forged a final peace pact with the government in 1996.
He also made the same offer to the communist New People's Army (NPA), which has been fighting the government for almost 50 years already.
He indicated that the Communist Party of the Philippines' leadership has only been fooling its NPA fighters, who are only suffering from hunger in the mountains, while their leaders have been living a good life.
"You're just into extortion. I am going to create a new division for you. No more qualification, anyway you know how to shoot," he said, adding that they could just practice more how to use the gun.
"I am willing to take you soldiers of the Republic, all, MI, MN, also NPA, so that my soldiers are mixed (of people)," Duterte said.
The President also said that he will come up with a general order, through Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, administrator of martial law.
The general order would cover illegal drugs.
"We will go after drugs and you can arrest them without warrant and you can search their houses without warrant," Duterte said, reminding that under his proclamation of martial law, he also suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Thus, warrantless searches and arrests are effected.
The President noted that the Maute Group was founded by former police siblings who discovered that illegal drugs was a lucrative business. He said these ex-policemen went back to Marawi and put up huge illegal drugs' laboratory.
Later on the Maute Group rode into the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), he said.
The Maute Group, which attacked Marawi on May 23, also raised ISIS flag in different parts of the city.
The government troopers have been conducting offensive operations against the terrorists.
At the same time, the President said he would only listen to the advice to him by the military and the police when to lift martial law.
Even the Supreme Court nor the Congress could not stop him in enforcing martial law, which he declared on May 23 for 60 days in Mindanao.
"The Supreme Court will say they will examine into the factual (basis). Why? I don't know. They are not soldiers. They don't know what's going on the ground," he said.
"When will it end? For as long as the police and the Armed Forces won't tell me that it's safe in the Philippines, this martial law will continue," he said.
Under the Constitution, the Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all members may revoke the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President.
The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing. Celerina Monte/DMS