A civil war in the Philippines is far from happening but should Christians start to fight Muslims, it will be difficult to stop it, Armed Forces chief Eduardo Año said on Thursday.
He was reacting to the warning of President Rodrigo Duterte that a civil war may erupt if Christians start arming themselves to fight extremists.
In an interview during the necrological rites for military Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak late Wednesday, Ano said if such a conflict breaks, it will not be prevented immediately.
“His (Duterte) warning will take a long time before it happen, but of course, some civilians, especially Christians in the Muslim areas, they wanted to arm themselves to defend themselves,” he told reporters.
“But if the President approve of that, you cannot prevent fights of clans, of barangay (villages). That is what we call civil war. But it is far from happening,” Año said, adding that the military and police will step in to nip such conflict in the bud.