President Duterte on Tuesday asked Marawi City residents to avoid being recruited by Islamist terrorists.
Leading the groundbreaking rites of a new military camp within the war ruins, the Commander in chief encouraged the people in Marawi to unite in rebuilding the Islamic City.
To convince the impoverished to shoo away from terrorist infiltrators, Mr. Duterte promised to keep on disbursing funds to them.
“You do not kill and destroy for no reason at all. I beg of you not to allow them to enter because it will just cause massive destruction and the loss of lives, including the innocent ones who are really the helpless in case of war,” the President said.
“We try to build a new city. I will guarantee you for the remaining years that there will always be money for you, that you’ll be able to rehabilitate your business,” he added.
The Duterte administration has allotted at least P10 billion for the rehabilitation of Marawi for 2018 alone.
Meanwhile, the President said the government would proceed with the peace talks with mainstream Moro insurgents to avoid ISIS recruitment.
“As a matter of fact, this is our golden opportunity. We will proceed with the peace talks,” Duterte said.
“We avoid trouble in Mindanao, we go for a federal system and we’ll try to craft something that could fit the [Bangsamoro Basic Law] or whatever is convenient that could make the Moro happy,” he added.
The new military camp site, inspected by the President, is the renovation of the old Marawi City Hall, converting it into a new Marawi military camp headquarters building.
Located on the top of the hill, the new camp would become a stronghold of the Philippine Army’s infantry units to prevent the re-entry of ISIS-backed groups here and to protect civilians from any security threats.