The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte: We’ll win vs terrorists

June 2, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday the government would win the war against the terrorists in Mindanao. However, Duterte said it could take longer because the government security forces have to take civilians into consideration. "Here in extremism, we will win. But we have losses...that is how life is governed in this universe. You would never know when. But you'd say we will lose, that's impossible. It will just take a longer period," he said in a speech during his visit in a military camp in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. Unlike terrorists who do not care about the civilians, he said the government has to take measures to ensure no civilians would be hurt or killed. "We are a government and we are bound by rules and even treaties, the Geneva Conventions. That's their favorite sanctuary. They also refer the Geneva Conventions if it would favor them...and that is always the problem because the government can never ignore treaties and the laws of the land," Duterte explained. The 1949 Geneva Conventions consist of four conventions. The first covers the protection of wounded and sick soldiers on land during war; second, protection of wounded, sick and shipwrecked military personnel at sea during war; third, applies to prisoners of war; and fourth, affords protection to civilians, including in occupied territory. Duterte said if the Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group were not with the civilian community, it would be easy for the government to bomb them and the problem would be finished in a day. But he said: "we are a civilized nation and we have a military well-disciplined and we also value human life even if we have to destroy sometime but of course, we know, especially our enemies are also Filipinos. Sometimes, you are in a quandary." Duterte cited the government has lots of equipment and air assets, which could be used against the terrorists. He promised to buy 12 more fighter jets for the Air Force. "You will have about 24 jet planes. I will acquire 12 more," he said. The PAF has 12 newly acquired fighter jets from South Korea. Duterte said the government would not accept second-hand military equipment from other countries. The previous administration acquired second-hand Navy vessels from the United States. "I would no longer accept second-hand military equipment. Those being given by America, I don't like them. Even I have to spend double the money," Duterte said. He also promised the soldiers his government would work for a P50 billion trust fund, which could be earmarked for education of the children of the government troopers. He said that he knows where to get the initial P20 billion. Celerina Monte/DMS