06 December 2016

Duterte calls for unity and peace this Christmas season
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte asked the nation to unite for peace and to support the administration’s fight against illegal drugs and corruption as he led the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Malacañan Palace grounds on Monday, December 5.

In his message, President Duterte said the government would work hard to fulfill his campaign promise of bringing lasting peace in the country, stamping out corruption and ending the illicit drugs trade.

“I plead for the unity of the country, that we shall be freed of the communal wars. I plead for the next generation that there will be Filipinos able, competent, healthy, and good,” said the President in a message addressed to the Filipino people.

“I plead for peace so that our citizens can move around anytime of the day or night. And I ask everybody in government that together we will stop corruption,” he added.

He stressed that law-abiding citizens in the country will be protected and he will not stop until he puts an end to the problem of illegal drugs.

“I will end up the drugs. My orders are destroy the apparatus that has really damaged the Republic of the Philippines,” he further said.

On the ongoing peace process, the President said the government peace panel led by Secretary Silvestre Bello III would be flying to Oslo, Norway on Tuesday for the resumption of peace talks.

Duterte expressed optimism about the ongoing peace talks saying that the government negotiating team “will not really abandon the things that we all crave for our country.”

Duterte said the government is also pursuing peace talks with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“So maligaya ako except for the extremists actually,” he said as he warned the Maute group would really be a danger to the country in the days to come citing what they did to the municipality of Butig in Lanao del Sur recently.

The President insisted that the last thing he would want to do is to wage war against the local terror group saying that “we cannot build a country over the bones of our fellow countrymen.”

He added that it is “disheartening” to see Filipinos killing each other noting that the administration would try to prospect for things that would end hostilities and restore peace and stability in the region.###PND