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President Rodrigo Duterte has earlier opened Malacanang to have dialogue with the militant groups. Yesterday, he revealed that he is working on negotiations with separatists and leftists in a bid to end to resolve decades-long Muslim and communists insurgencies that ha s already took a lot of lives.
He said that he scheduled a meeting with the leader of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest rebel separatist group, and later with Nur Misuari, who founded and now heads a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). This will happen by next week.
It can be recalled that Duterte has been planning to resume peace talks with these groups and has already started with Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) even before he was inaugurated.
In his speech yesterday at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command Rites, he said “It is not a war that can be fought forever. We cannot fight forever. We might have the weapons, the armaments, the bullets and the mortar but that does not make a nation,”.
He added that his job is to bring peace and talk to the enemies of the state. “I can retire happy and I can look back and say I did my duty in nation-building.” he added.
“We can only take so much… There will always be a time for reckoning. We can only swallow so much,” he said. He was referring to the bandit group Abu Sayaff, which recently pledged allegiance to Islamic State jihadists. They were also the group who recently beheaded two Canadian Nationals. “We cannot be the whipping boy of a few who want maybe nothing but money and power in their hands,” he said.
He also shared his message to Misuari saying “Matanda na tayong dalawa. Are we still going to fight at this time?”
As the first President from Mindanao, Duterte seeks a peace agreement with this communists and separatists groups and said " “it behooves upon me to look for the answer.”