By ARGYLL B. GEDUCOS
President Duterte has asked the Abu Sayyaf Group to stop kidnapping innocent civilians as he does not want to fight fellow Filipinos.
In a speech in Labuan, Zamboanga City, Duterte wished that the Abu Sayyaf will cease from kidnappings which he said does not reflect Filipino or Malay values.
“Sana mahinto na. Huwag naman masyadong cruelty kasi hindi tayo ganun. Tayong mga Malay, hindi tayo ganoon. We are not as vicious as the Arabs,” he said.
Duterte said that if he wants to, he can just bomb the area where the ASG has set camp but lamented that innocent lives would have been sacrificed.
“Sige na tama na ‘yang ganyan. Oo. Ayaw ko kasing ma-kipag-away ng kapatid ko. Kaya hanggang ngayon hold-hold lang ako,” he said. “Madali lang naman na padala ko dito ‘yung jet natin na bago na…Eh di pabombahan ko na lang ‘yang buong… Pero you know if you declare war, pati ‘yung mga kap, ang kawawa ‘yung inosente,” he added.
The President said in jest that he travels with a truck full of money when he is in Mindanao to save civilians kidnapped by the armed group.
“‘Yung sundalo ko pulis ko magengkwentro kayo, okay lang. Pero ‘yung sibilyan tapos manghingi ng pera tapos patayin. Ako na lang ang,” Duterte said. “Kaya maski saan ako dala-dala ko talaga ‘yan basta sa Mindanao, hila-hila ko ‘yung truck. Puno ng pera ‘yon para sa Abu Sayyaf,” he added.
The President said the Abu Sayyaf is mad at him. “My message to the Abu Sayyaf is I come in peace. Balita ko galit sila sa akin. Eh bakit kayo magalit sa akin? Ano bang ginawa ko sa Moro para magalit kayo?” he said. “Iyong pulis, trabaho nila ‘yan. May gulo, pupunta talaga. Kung hindi kaya, ‘di ang Army,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte visited and awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kampilan to five soldiers wounded in separate encounters with the ASG in Sulu.
The award was conferred on Staff Sergeant Krisnan E. Natividad, Sergeant Yahcob J. Sarian, Private Eugene S. Gonzales, Private First Class Richard C. Aquino, and Corporal Jolly Bert V. Balmore at the Camp Navarro General Hospital in Bagong Calarian, Zamboanga City.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu, Rank of Kampilan is conferred by the President to recognize exemplary service by workers of the government and private individuals who are wounded, injured, or suffered great loss of property for their participation in the advocacy of the President.