Despite blatant attacks on government forces in Mindanao, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is still pushing for peace talks and is adamant that he does not want to wage a war.
The president, who was visiting Lanao Del Sur on Wednesday, checked on the ruined infrastructure brought about by the attacks of Maute terrorists. Though reports of the military securing Butig haven’t been optimistic, Duterte assures those involved that he comes in peace.
“Ayaw kong makipag-away sa inyo. Ayaw kong makipagpatayan, but please do not force my hand kasi may limit ho naman ang problemang ito.”
[I don’t want to fight with you. I don’t want us to keep killing each other, but please do not force my hand because I also have a limit.]
“Because when the time comes, it’s going to be a war against terrorism and drugs. I would tell you now, I will be harsh. As harsh I can ever be.”
At this time, ABS CBN News reports that Duterte is asking all the Muslim Moro political leaders to convene with him and find a peaceful way to resolve conflict:
“I plead to all of you Muslims Moro political leaders, men of influence, scholars, we can continue talking and try to sort [things] out.”
Duterte to Maute Terrorists: ‘Ayaw kong makipag-away sa inyo. Ayaw kong makipagpatayan, but please do not force my hand.’