MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said that the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao, which reportedly contains oil reserves, belongs to the Moro people.
In a speech before Muslim leaders in Davao City in celebration of Eid’l Fitr on Saturday, June 16, Duterte sought to dispel any concerns about Liguasan Marsh.
“Do not be worried at all. Hindi na kukunin ng gobyerno ‘yan. Inyo ‘yan. Walang makialam niyan (The government won’t take it. That is yours. Nobody will interfere),” the President said.
The Liguasan Marsh is located in the Cotabato River basin in the plain areas of Central Mindanao, spread across the provinces of Maguindanao, Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.
In May 2018, Maguindanao Representative Zajid Mangudadatu told dZMM that the Liguasan Marsh, which contains billions of cubic feet of gas, is also said to have oil and coal underneath.
Duterte urged the Moros to welcome commercial activities in the marsh once it is developed.
“[If] there’s really oil in Liguasan Marsh, my God, pupunta lahat diyan (everybody will go there): Christians, Muslims, Lumads will join the fray to enjoy progress and development. Wala tayong apihan dito. (Let’s have no conflict here),” he said.
“It will remain in your control and possession, but you just have to pay the taxes and the service that the government will spend. I promise you, and that’s my commitment: It belongs to the Moro people,” he added. – Rappler.com
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