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Digong vows to end Marawi siege in 3 days

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – President Duterte vowed to finish the Marawi conflict in three days, citing concerns for the innocent civilians as the reason for not meeting the deadline set earlier for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to quell the rebellion.

Duterte issued the statement after visiting the 63 wounded soldiers currently being given medical attention Saturday at the Camp Evangelista Hospital of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID), here.

“This (Marawi siege) will be over in about three more days,” Duterte said.

“Alam mo, sa totoo lang, would it not because government is bound by rules and the values of civility, I can end this war (Marawi conflict) in 24 hours. Alam mo bombahan ko lang lahat ‘yan (I will just bomb them). I have 20 new jets.

All I have to do is bomb the whole place and level it to the groundsaid Duterte “But, since we are in a civilized society and we are a member of the UN (United Nations) and other Geneva Convention Protocol, nahihirapan ako (I find it hard), and we have to do it to the least maximum damage of collaterals.”

Duterte said the government forces cannot just aim their machine guns anywhere and say “bahala na kayo (it’s all up to you)” even though the enemies, particularly the Maute terror group, show no compassion to civilian lives.

“We have to get close to the targets and to be precise with our shots. ‘Di kami pwedeng basta pasirit lang. Kailangan wala talaga dapat mamatay na civilian (We cannot just press the trigger anywhere. Civilians must not be among the casualties).”

Duterte however warned of much harsh actions if need be.

“I will not hesitate to order the bombing of places where it could cost so many lives for the government,” said Duterte. “For now it will be good for the armed forces to deal with the guys who initially funded the terrorism (plan) with the use of drug money.”

Meanwhile, Duterte said he is saddened that 10 soldiers died due to a government airstrike last Wednesday.

“It is a very sad commentary. But this thing will happen again and again and again. It does, it has not happened not only with the Philippine Army, minsan (sometimes with the) Navy,” Duterte said.

“There is what you would call the ‘Murphy’s Law.’ The Murphy’s Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong,” he added.

Duterte said there is already an investigation ongoing but assured that he will not meddle with it. (With a report from Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)