Duterte says he might tell US troops to leave Mindanao for peace talks to start

President Rodrigo Duterte clarified his statement about the American troops in Mindanao on Thursday, September 15, adding that he only asked them to go for the peace talks with the Moro rebels to proceed.

“Sabi nila, basta yung behind sila sa… They think it’s still the Americans maneuvering. Kaya sinabi ko Mindanao. I never said go out of the… One day, I might decide na umalis na muna kayo para to give us the space to talk,” Duterte said in his speech in front of the elite Army Scout Rangers in Camp Tecson, hinting that he might only ask the US troops to leave temporarily.

Duterte added that after the elections, he sent one of his sons to start peace talks with the Moro separatists in Mindanao.

“Right after elections, I personally sent my son. Gusto ko makipag-usap ng peace… Sabi nila, for as long as nandiyan Amerikano sa likod ng government niyo, di kami makikipag-usap,” he said.

Duterte made the statement after bringing up the Bud Dajo massacre in Jolo, Sulu, which he considered to be one of the reasons behind the rebellion in the region.

The President also confirmed reports that he showed photos of the bloody massacre at the turn of the 20th century that killed 600 Moros as the Americans tried to stop the insurgency in this part of Mindanao.

Duterte even urged US President Barack Obama and the Americans to apologize for these atrocities, although he later clarified that he is not against the Americans.

He also hit back at “pretend-to-know announcers” who think that the Moro massacres while the Philippines was a US colony are no longer relevant.

“It is not one century ago. The fighting is now one century old! They fall short of their projection. Kaya hanggang ngayon, they see us as an extension of the Spaniards, the Americans. Ang tingin nila, we are the extension of a series of imperialism,” Duterte said.

Duterte promised to promote peace in Mindanao during his campaign.

The government has resumed peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in August in Malaysia. Duterte now wants to meet the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari to talk about the peace process.

Last Monday, Duterte said that he wanted the American troops “to go” during his speech in front of newly appointed officials.

But presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that this pronouncement from the president not yet a final policy statement.

Sources: (,


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