• 20,000 troops eyed to crush terrorists

    I’M WITH YOU President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a group mobile phone camera photo with health workers at Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City on Friday. Duterte promised to raise salaries of the military and the police in a year. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    I’M WITH YOU President Rodrigo Duterte poses for a group mobile phone camera photo with health workers at Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City on Friday. Duterte promised to raise salaries of the military and the police in a year. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte wants to deploy up to 20,000 more soldiers to put an end to terrorist attacks and kidnappings of foreigners in Mindanao.

    Meeting with top military and police officials at the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao headquarters in Zamboanga City, Duterte said more government troops are needed to put an end to “embarrassing” terrorism in the country.

    “It started many, many years ago. It’s like we’re being slapped on the face, every time there is a foreigner executed or a local … it embarrasses the country,” the President said.

    “One day we’ll just have to decide and one day we’ll just have to say, ‘we’ll finish everything.’ We can’t be slapped on the face like this every day,” he added.

    Duterte said 10,000 to 20,000 additional troops would be needed to combat terror groups in various areas in Mindanao.

    “Plus, I would need about 3,000 policemen to meet the challenges of urban terrorism. We are in a transition. The world itself is in a transition,” he said.

    Duterte said it was his first visit to a military camp, and vowed to increase the pay of soldiers and police in one year.

    Recognizing that many people want immediate changes in the country, the President pleaded for patience, particularly on the increase in pay of security forces.

    “This will take effect this year. Let’s take it slowly. We don’t have a lot of money … remember that I entered the Presidency mid-stream so I have to just make a go of what’s available, but I will prioritize you,” he told the military and police in Zamboanga City.

    Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated his promise to sell the presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo, although he mentioned the ship’s old name, BRP Pagasa.

    The President said he plans to sell the ship to rebuild the AFP Medical Center, also known as V. Luna General Hospital.

    With the money from the ship’s sale, Duterte said he would order the construction of a new building.

    “You will have the operative best medical treatment. It will have everything: CT scan … I will spend money. And we will improve the hospitals, whatever are the immediate and urgent needs there,” he said.

    “I want to assure everybody in this Republic, especially those in the government, that you have a President who will share with you your problems, and of course, the blessings that we get from God and from the people of the Republic of the Philippines,” he added.

    ‘Willing to concede BBL’

    Later in the day at Camp Siongco in Maguindanao, Duterte said the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) granting larger autonomy to Muslim areas of Mindanao remains an option, to finally bring peace to the island.

    “I am ready concede BBL minus the constitutional infirmities,” Duterte said.

    Duterte however said he does not agree with some provisions of the BBL, including the establishment of a Bangsamoro police force.

    The BBL implements the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which the previous Aquino administration and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed in March 2014 as part of the peace process in Mindanao.

    Opposition from several lawmakers however prevented the passage of the BBL during the term of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd.

    Duterte said there should be unified control of the police.

    The President however said he was willing to give authority to the Moro people particular in the management of resources in the proposed Bangsamoro areas.

    “There’s enough land, there’s enough oil,” he said.


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Pres Duterte seems on the right track but giving in to rebel and secessionist group under MILF / BBL is a trap underground by Malaysia to erase Sabah claim.

    2. Ignacio Balbutin on

      Yeah the muslims can administer their own territories and administer it they want to but there should only be one flag, one police and one army. It could not be denied that though chistians and muslims differ in their belief but we can live harmoniously as brothers and sisters under one government. The muslims should not also force the christians in their territories to be subjected to sharia law because we only have one law and one constitution which give freedom of faith to everyone. It is also high time for an all out war against all secessionists and rebels especially the abus who are truly bringing shame to our country. Under the presidency of President Duterte, I am looking forward for peaceful and prosperous Mindanao. Let us indeed make Mindanao as the land of promise.

    3. President Duterte should keep close watch on Nur Misuari who feels cheated of opportunities to enrich himself more. Denying the setting up of a Bangsamoro Police Force alone (legitimising MILF terrorists) means denying vast avenues for Nur Misuari to enrich himself. This statement by President Duterte is bound to elicit another round of violent ‘show of force’ from the Abu Sayyaf.

      Misuari, the MILF and surely the Abu Sayyaf should not be the only voices of the Bangsamoro. There must be others who are more rational. Manila should also make better efforts at extending fellowship to the Bangsamoro. There should be a more aggressive inclusiveness from the larger majority.

    4. Elcid Pelayo on

      of course being a true son of Mindanao he could not allow having a regional police force totally controlled by the MILF and conceded by the wild eyed, liberal cry babies,and obviously ignorant Quezon City based witches of the peace panel because everyone from Mindanao knows it is tantamount to tying a rope into ones neck.This is an improvement to a peace process solely run by tagalog traitors….

    5. We have 2 weak prior presidents that did not solve the terrorist Mindanao problem. Now, Indonesia and Malaysian does not want their ships to trade because of kidnappings. They are not Islamic groups. They are terrorist groups. They are not religious groups but plain and simple criminals. Mindanao is a very beautiful place but who of us wants to take a vacation there ? Still remember the Burham missionaries that work there to spread Christinity ? Thank God we have a Duterte.

    6. PeterAspiras on

      I think the management of the resources should not be just granted to the Moro people even though they are the indigenous people within the area but it should be shared throughout the Philippines government for one reason the capacity of the Philippines to maintain control peace and order which should be 50/50 for everything otherwise this policy is being snared as secession at any future date whatever comes first once Mindanao can develop it’s own. It’s a mark in the history of the Philippines when this secession happens and a black eye of the constitution in the foreseeable future. I think Mr Duterte is wrong with this in mind. Any resources where ever it comes from should be shared to the government and promise the Moro people as compulsory policy between them to be paid as shared value. I am a naturalized Filipino American but I shared the emotions and hearts of the whole Filipinos in the country and my blood runs deep to all the Filipinos who are still suffering from poverty and poor living conditions. I think whoever the President and any future Presidents should adhere and feel the pain of all Filipinos not only at a single location like Mindanao.

    7. Facial recognition, thumbprints and other biometrics should be used to register everyone in the Philippines.

      In this way they can identify all the drug lords, terrorists, wrong-doers.