Pres. Duterte to proceed with visit in Marawi City despite ambush attempt on PSG
By Jelly F. Musico
LAUR, Nueva Ecija, Nov. 29 (PNA) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte said he will proceed with his plan to visit Marawi City on Wednesday despite an ambush attempt on a convoy of Presidential Security Group (PSG) personnel, Radio TV Malacanang (RTVM) and local troop escorts.
”I’m going there. I am just simply going there. The advice was to postpone, I said ‘no’. I will go there and if possible, take the same route,” President Duterte said in his speech during the inauguration of the mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center (DATRC) on Tuesday at Fort Magsaysay here.
”Maybe we can have a little gunfight here, gunfight there. Exercise, maybe. If I will not survive, she is there, that’s why we have a Vice President Leni Robredo. Then you can have a gentle President also in exchange for a discourteous mouth,” he added.
The convoy of the advance party of the President was waylaid via a roadside improvised electronic device (IED) while on their way to Marawi City on Tuesday morning.
As a result, seven PSG personnel and two regular troops escorting the convoy were injured and were airlifted immediately by the presidential chopper to undisclosed hospitals.
President Duterte is scheduled to visit Lanao del Sur on Wednesday to boost the morale of the government troops fighting the Maute terror group which reportedly occupied a portion of Butig town in that province.
”I have to go to the hospitals to visit them tomorrow. That’s why I have to go home tonight,” President Duterte said.
The military operations have resulted in the killing of about 40 members of the Maute Group which President Duterte said has links to the international terrorist group ISIS or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
”The problem is Mindanao itself and the Moro people will go for it at all costs. Remember that the Moro was ahead of us by almost a thousand years because they are the natives there when the Spaniards and the Americans were there to conquer the island. So if I may correctly describe it, actually, it’s the Moro nationalism that’s at work,” the President added.
When asked in an ambush media interview how he will deal with the Maute Group, President Duterte’s short answer was: “Kaibiganin natin para walang gulo (Let’s befriend with them so that there is no trouble).”
In his speech, President Duterte said he can fight the government’s enemies in Mindanao the whole your-round but “for how long and at what cost?”
”I can order the invasion of Jolo and give the order, ‘the last man standing.’ I can burn Jolo, I can burn Basilan. Bomb everything there. But what would it bring us? If you think that I will wipe out humanity there, will we at last enjoy the blessings of peace?,” he asked.
The President said if he cannot find peace under his administration, “then I’ll give it to the next President.”
”Do better but do not concede more than what you can really give,” he said. (PNA)