Manila Bulletin

Duterte chides Maute group, says he’ll buy them airline tickets to leave PH

- By GENALYN D. KABILING

Pack up and leave Mindanao. If they refuse to surrender to authoritie­s, President Duterte has called on the local Maute terror group to leave the country and bring their fight to the Middle East.

The President said he was even willing to shoulder the travel

expenses of the Maute group members in their flight abroad just to end their hostilitie­s in the South.

“Fifty lang kayo tapos maglaban kayo sa Armed Forces; kalokohan. Eh, pumunta ka na lang doon sa Middle East (Your number is just 50 and you want to fight the Armed Forces; that’s foolish. Go to the Middle East instead),” the President said during the ARMM Summit in Davao City last Thursday.

“Mamili ka anong eroplano Emirates? Sige, bigyan kita ng ticket. Sige, doon. Ano bang gawin mo dito? Distorbohi­n mo ang isang community? Then what after that? How about ‘yung namatay? (Choose your airline, Emirates? Go, I’ll pay for the ticket. Go there. What are you doing here? Disturb a community then what? How about those killed?),” he added.

Duterte also questioned the motive of the Maute group to affiliate with the Islamic State and bring trouble to local communitie­s. He claimed there was no need to join the ISIS movement since he does not allow any oppression of Filipinos in the country.

“You are into believing something which is not really true. Kasi ‘yung kawsa nila hindi atin eh. I do not allow oppression in this country and I will never do it,” he said.

The President earlier warned the ISIS-linked Maute group to stop their hostilitie­s or face an all-out war from government forces. Duterte, who recently visited the troops in Lanao del Sur, also expressed readiness to hold a peaceful dialogue with the rebel group to resolve the conflict.

In the same speech before ARMM local executives, the President has ruled out the declaratio­n of martial law to address the terror threats in the country, saying it is a foolish idea that brought no good to the country in the past.

Instead of placing the country under martial law, the President raised the possibilit­y of empowering local government executives to effectivel­y address peace and order threats in their communitie­s.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines