President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who apologized to Canada for the beheading of John Ridsdel in April, was silent on the execution of another Canadian hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
In an interview in Davao City on Tuesday, that is the problem of the present administration] but the moment he [Duterte] assumed the presidency, I’m sure there will be swift and fast reaction to the situation. Walang kaduda-duda yun [There’s no doubt about that],” he said.
“Wala naman siyang binanggit sa akin, nag-usap kami kagabi. Hindi napag-usapan [He did not say anything, we talked last night. It was not discussed],” Panelo added.
He said the beheading of Robert Hall was a “taunt to the present administration,” not to Duterte’s leadership.
“If they do that during the administration of Duterte, then that could be a challenge to him [Duterte], but not now,” according to Panelo.
When asked how the incoming administration will deal with the ASG problem, he replied that they will discuss it “when he [Duterte] assumes the presidency.”
“Basta ang alam ko [All I know is that] President-elect Duterte will not tolerate or condone any illegality in this country. He will do everything in his power to stop all these. That’s his commitment, he will suppress all this criminality,” Panelo said.
“I’m sure President-elect Duterte will solve that kind of problem. He has solved other problems of equal magnitudes. How? I don’t know how he will do it. Knowing him, magaling si President-elect, marami syang style na hindi natin alam but very effective [The newly-elected President is good, he has styles that we do not know of but very effective]” he added.
Panelo said when there were kidnapping incidents in the past, Duterte would hold backdoor negotiations although he maintained a “no-ransom policy.”
“Ang alam ko lang ‘yung style niya nung mayor pa siya, pag merong [All I know is his style when he was still mayor, that when there’s a] kidnapping he has backdoor negotiations then suddenly nare-release ‘yung mga tao [the captives are released],” he added.
Duterte will cease to be mayor of Davao City in southern Mindanao when he takes his oath of office as President on June 30.