Duterte pleads to leave out civilians of any terror plots

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DAVAO CITY: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appealed to all rebel fronts to leave out civilians of any terror plots, saying, “It does not give you any advantage to your cause.”

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The Davao mayor’s statement was in reaction to recent bombing of the Rural Transit Bus in Maramag, Bukidnon Tuesday last week that killed 10 people and wounded 42 others.

The deputy commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) has identified Garnet Lintang, a commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF), as behind the bombing as part of test mission for their new graduates.

While the BIFF denied hand in the incident, Duterte said he is bounded by the theory of the military in the absence of any proof of actions on the contrary.

He was saddened by the incident with civilians as the casualties of whatever groups are fighting for. “Kinsa man ang nagbuhat niini (Whoever did it) they killed for nothing,” he said, adding it was a horrible thing and not easy to kill except for criminals.

“If indeed it is true it is the BIFF, sana maawa kayo sa kapwa tao wala talagang manalo sa giyera na ito (hope you pity your fellowmen no one really wins in this war). It would end in grief and sorrow for everybody,” he said.

Duterte said he would like to make peace with everybody – the BIFF…MILF. “If we can stop this kind of terrorism,” he pointed out.

“If you want to fight, fight the forces of the military yan na lang (just that),” he said, emphasizing that the military is there to fight.

According to him, he has seen a lot of war in the 40th year of rebellion. Recalling the 1970’s campaign in Cotabato, the mayor noted it lasted for many years and ended for nothing.

“What I can do is plead to them to stop -– if they want to talk -– I am willing to go there and talk,” he said.

Meanwhile, the mayor ordered the head of the Public Safety and Security Center to craft strict protocol to compel bus owners to pick up passengers only at terminals and routine checks of baggage and identify owners must be done before leaving loading points. There have been observations too that passengers leave their baggage to reserve seats.

“I want such obnoxious practices stopped,” Duterte warned he might be forced to impound buses or prevent from entering the city. PNA

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