Duterte reiterates desire to end war with rebel groups

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led on Friday the change of command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo where he reiterated his desire to end the atrocities with the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People Army (CPP-NPA), Moro International Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

President Duterte, in his speech during the AFP change of command, reiterated that his primary duty for the country as the president is not to go to war but to bring peace to the land. “It is not a war to be fought forever. We cannot fight forever. We might have the weapons, the armaments, and the bullets, mortars…… My job is to bring peace but hand in hand I must also bring order in my country.”

He mentioned that even before he was proclaimed president, he was already busy going around Mindanao talking to people, encouraging them to help bring peace in the country.

The President mentioned Jose Maria Sison, whom he wants to talk to, to bring about an inclusive government.

“It behooves upon me and I think to really look for the answer and I can hack it, and if can talk to Maria Sison and bring about — not a coalition government — an inclusive government.”

Adding that he plans to talk to the MILF and the MNLF to discuss about peace.

“Next week, we are to talk and eventually I think I’ll have to travel to Jolo to talk to Nur [Misuari]. I’m willing to give them safe conduct passes, only the leaders. At baka matsambahan ko na magkaroon tayo ng mapayapa (I might be lucky to achieve the peace). And if that happens really, I can retire happy and I can look back and say that I did my duty in nation building.”

Aside from this, the President wants to suppress and eliminate the proliferation of illegal drugs in the society.

He warned drug lords and criminals to stop their thing, for he will be harsh to them.

President Duterte then promised to eliminate the drug lords and put to stop what is happening inside the national penitentiary (bilibid).

He recalled of the promise he made during his final rally in Luneta where he said “I will put at stake my honor, my life and the presidency,” in fulfilling his campaign promise to stop criminality and atrocities in the country.

President Duterte led the turn-over of command from acting Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Glorioso Miranda to Lt. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya, who assumed the leadership yesterday.

Visaya believes that by stroke of faith, the six-month duration under the new administration will lay down the bedrock of foundation for security and defense as he promised to embark on a people-centered approach as they involve even in various rebel factions towards nation building.

Aside from that, Visaya said that the AFP will also intensify its support to law enforcement agencies and will build alliances with its counterparts to bring down syndicates and other organized crime groups. (wc)