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6月21日のまにら新聞から

Duterte warns of civil war if problem in Mindanao is prolonged

[ 440 words|2017.6.21|英字 (English) ]

President Rodrigo Duterte warned on Tuesday of a civil war in Mindanao if the government fails to immediately address the problem in the region.

In a speech in Cagayan de Oro City where he visited the soldiers wounded fighting the Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group in Marawi City, Duterte said if the problem in Mindanao would be prolonged, Christians might also take arms and fight the Muslims.

"We cannot allow that because if the civilians will also take up arms, it will be a civil war. So we have two jobs: How to hold the Christians who have arms and these IS (Islamic State)-Maute," he said.

With this, the president stressed the need to fast-track the implementation of the peace agreement with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

"Our hope there is to accelerate the peace talks," he said, adding he would just let the MILF to be in charge of governing Central Mindanao, which includes Lanao, Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

The government has been also talking with the faction of the then secessionist Moro National Liberation Front of Nur Misuari.

Duterte has been pushing for a federal government.

In a speech in Iligan City where he visited an evacuation center of the displaced families from Marawi, Duterte said the MILF is set to submit to him on Wednesday a new draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

"My promise is federalism. I will give that to them. Tomorrow, (MIF chairman Al Haj) Murad will give me a copy of their draft (BBL)," Duterte said.

He said he will sign the draft BBL two days after and "I will push (for its passage) in Congress."

Duterte, in both speeches, expressed his dismay to Marawi residents for allowing the foreign ideology of IS-Maute in their place.

"Please tell our Maranao brothers about my resentment on this incident," he told the evacuees.

The government troopers have been pursuing the Maute terrorists who attacked and started occupying Marawi on May 23.

But at the same time, Duterte apologized for what has been happening in the city and his declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

"I would like to say to the Maranao people that I am very, very, very sorry to what has been happening to us. I hope in the near future, you will find a new heart to forgive my soldiers, the government, and also my declaring of martial law. I have no choice, Marawi has been destroyed. I have to drive them (militants) out," he said.

He also promised to set aside P20 billion to start the rehabilitation of Marawi, double from the initial P10 billion fund that Malacanang announced. Celerina Monte/DMS