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Kimberly Jane Tan,
ABS-CBN News Posted at Nov 30 2016 02:36 PM


MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he does not wish to wage war in Mindanao, despite recent attacks against government forces in the region.

 Duterte, who is visiting Lanao del Sur Wednesday, said he wanted to check the structures that have been destroyed since the Maute terrorist group occupied the town of Butig on Saturday. 

The military is still in the process of retaking Butig but the President assured the people of Mindanao that he was not there to wage war.

 READ: How the Maute group recaptured Butig




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"I come in peace. I do not want war. What is very certain is that I do not want to wage a war against my own countrymen," he said.

 And although he warned groups not to try his patience, he admitted it would be very easy to start a war but that it would be hard to stop and heal the wounds it inflicts.

 "Ayaw kong makipag-away sa inyo. Ayaw kong makipagpatayan, but please do not force my hand kasi may limit ho naman ang problemang ito," he said.

 [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," he added.

 Because of this, he said he is asking for the help of all Moros in ending the problem in Mindanao.

 "Mahal ko kayo at sana tulungan ninyo ako kaysa makipag-away ang gobyerno na wala namang katapusan.

 Panahon ng Espanol, Amerikano, kay Marcos, hanggang ngayon, so hanggang kailan ito?" he said.



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[I love you all so I hope you can help me instead of fighting with the government. There has been fighting since time of the Spaniards, Americans, Marcos, until now. 

When will it end?] Duterte said the only way is talk things over, citing efforts to talk with communist rebels, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and even Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari. On Tuesday, he even said he was open to talking with the Maute group.

 "I plead to all of you Muslims Moro political leaders, men of influence, scholars, we can continue talking and try to sort [things] out," he said.



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