The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte blames Maranaos for Marawi crisis

June 7, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte blamed on Wednesday the Maranao people for allowing the terrorists to enter Marawi City. In a speech in a military camp in Tacurong City, Duterte said he has Maranao blood in his veins, but he is "mad" with his fellow Maranaos. "I'm really mad at them, those in Marawi. Why did the Maranaos allow those people to enter there and to sow chaos and bringing a very corrupt ideology," he said. The government troopers have been conducting offensive operations against the Islamic State-inspired Maute Terror Group in Marawi since May 23. Duterte said the terrorists wanted to kill people, which is "pure oppression." In the "Mindanao Hour" press briefing in Malacanang earlier in the day, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said the government forces did not start the problem in Marawi. "We feel the pain, we feel the hurt of every member or every citizen or every resident of Marawi. But let us remember that we did not start this from happening. It was the armed group, the Maute-ISIS inspired group that entered your city to wreck havoc on it," he said. He said if the residents in Marawi could have only cooperated with the authorities, the crisis could not have occurred. "The community could have played a big part. That is why in previous statements that we have made, we mentioned about the concept of shared security or shared responsibility in dealing with the security posture of communities," he said. He said the Philippine National Police and the AFP have limited number of personnel and they could not guard every corner of Marawi 24/7. "But if every member of the community participates, by being very vigilant, by watching over their areas and reporting suspicious persons, other materials that are left behind or things that they perceive as a threat to their community, then the aspect of a quicker reaction to deal with these problems happens and occurs," Padilla said. Padilla was quick to say that the military was not blaming anyone. While the government security forces could not say when it will completely address the problem in Marawi, Duterte said terrorists in the city would not win even "in a million years. "This is just a small one. Were it not for the fact that we are bound by rules, I could flatten Marawi in two days. In 24 hours, it's finished...but as I have said, we are governed by rules because we are a Republic, a democratic Republic," he said. He said the problem is confined only in Lanao del Sur where Marawi is located. "They don't have the tanks, no truck. But if you say we will win, we will really win...this is just a disturbance. It's not really the entire Philippines. It's limited to Lanao," he said. Duterte said he was advised to talk to the mother of the Maute brothers with the hope to immediately end the problem. But he said, he would not talk to the Maute because many government troopers have been  killed. Duterte said he would only talk to the "new generation" after the government finished the terrorists in Marawi. Celerina Monte/DMS