Duterte now asks Maute Group to surrender

Carmela Fonbuena

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Duterte now asks Maute Group to surrender
(UPDATED) 'We will try them, give them due process, and provide them with a lawyer,' President Rodrigo Duterte says, as he makes another U-turn on his policy regarding the war in Marawi City

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte junked on Saturday, September 9, the proposal to give the local terrorist groups in Marawi City a safe passage out of the war zone in exchange for the release of the hostages.

“No way,” said Duterte mimicking his son Paolo’s now viral response to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV when he asked to see if he has the Chinese triad tattoo. 

Duterte said the local terrorists can surrender and they will live. 

“We will try them, give them due process, and provide them with a lawyer. There will be no opression or harassment or anything. No violence will be inflicted upon them if they surrender. I will guarantee that,” said Duterte

Kapag nag-surrender sila, walang sabihin mo na bugbugin o i-oppress o gutumin (If they surrender, they will not be beaten or oppressed). Nothing of the sort. I will not also allow it. That’s not the way you treat people even if they are criminals,” said Duterte.

“They will be treated as criminals. If they surrender, they will be prosecuted. If they choose to fight, the State has right to kill them,” Duterte said.

It’s another apparent U-turn on his policy regarding the war in Marawi City.

Earlier in the war, Duterte said in a speech that he would rather the soldiers kill the terrorists than arrest them because he wouldn’t want to pay for their meals in prison. 

Last week, Duterte also made a statement that appeared he was open to giving the local terrorists a safe passage if only to end the war that has dragged on for more than 3 months.

Duterte said in a speech on August 30:  Pero kung sabi ko lang na ano, kung sana makiusap na lang tayo na lumabas na lang and free the hostages, do not harm them, do not cut their heads because mag-init lalo. I mean, kung makita ‘nyo ‘yung sundalo, it’s gonna be a bloodbath. But still up to this time, I have sent somebody na we could save the day for all of us.”

It was this statement that triggered the proposal from former Marawi City Mayor Omar Ali Solitario to reach out to the Mautes to negotiate the safe passage.

The military and local officials in Marawi City junked any negotiation with the Mautes.

Duterte has made pronouncements that he was not open to negotiating with the terrrorists. On Saturday, he confirmed the talks with Solitario.

Last week, Duterte also said he has given the military the go signal to bomb if necessary the mosques that serve as strongholds of the Maute.

A few days later, he took it back, He said the Maranaos will be hurt if the mosques are bombed. – Rappler.com

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