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Duterte nixes rebels’ help vs Maute Group

President Duterte has retracted his call for communist and Moro rebels to help government troops fight the Maute Group in Marawi City.

Duterte, in his speech before the 1st Mechanized Infantry Division in Sultan Kudarat Friday, said the New People’s Army, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front do not fit into the picture.

“Kaya nga, nag-offer ang NPA, nakikipaglabanan sa gobyerno, sama-sama. Sabi ko (expletive) baka lahat ng tama ng sundalo ko sa likod. Walang sa harap,” he said.

“It’s not because I do not trust them but it simply does not fit into the picture,” Duterte added.

Duterte offered the communist and Moro rebels in Mindanao to integrate them and give them the same benefits as Philippine soldiers if they decide to join and fight alongside government troops.

He also recalled MNLF founder Nur Misuari’s offer to send 2,000 of MNLF fighters but eventually rejected the offer as the government troops and Nur’s men may not understand one another due to language barrier.

“Nur promised to send also 2,000 of the MNLF soldiers. Sabi ko, huwag kasi pagdating doon maghalo-halo tayo. Hindi lahat tayo nakakaintindi lahat ng salita nila,” Duterte said.

“Sabi ko, huwag na. Kasi marami na tayo, hindi tayo magkaintindihan. Baka tayo-tayo na ang barilan doon,” he added.

The President assured that peace and order would be restored in the country and asked for the public’s understanding and patience. “Just give us your understanding and be patient. We will restore order in this country,” Duterte said. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)