By Genalyn Kabiling
The government is prepared to drop bombs at militant rebels if they mount another large-scale war in Mindanao, President Duterte warned last Tuesday.
The President said the government has a huge arsenal of weapons and would not hesitate to blast away the rebels even if innocent people get hurt.
“Dito sa south [In the south], I’m warning you rebels, marami akong armas [I have many weapons]. You do some fighting there, I will freely use all the jets to bomb you. And if I hurt civilians, then it’s part of the territory,” Duterte said during a gathering of mayors from Visayas in Cebu
Duterte also cautioned the insurgents not to attack military and police camps or else face dire consequences.
“Huwag kayong masyadong mag-atake-atake ng kampo, magpatay because if you start a large-scale war, I will not hesitate to bomb you,” he said.
“Huwag na natin itong patagalin. Tatapusin natin kung gusto ninyo sa panahon ko [Let’s not prolong this. We will end this during my time],” he said.
The President said he has acquired more military weapons and equipment from allies like Russia and China amid the security threat posed by the Islamic State.
He recalled that his relatives informed him about the brewing trouble in Marawi City last year, citing ISIS recruitment of local citizens.
“Meron din mga foreigners ‘yung mga dala-dala [There were foreigners bringing] the ISIS ideology of kill and destroy,” he said.
“It’s a totally bankrupt and idiotic movement that has nothing except to kill and to destroy, and to kill all the infidels which means to say that if you are not a Muslim, you are an infidel,” he added.
He said Russia and China have offered military weapons, equipment and trucks when country faced the terror threat in Marawi City last year. He was grateful that these two allies did not ask anything in exchange of the weapons.
The United States and Canada, on the other hand, derailed the military procurement deals with the Philippines on human rights concerns, according to the President.
He said the country was supposed to purchase guns from the US but the transaction was blocked by two protesting American lawmakers.
He said the military also tried to buy helicopters from Canada but its government sought a review of the deal due to concerns it would be used against Filipino rebels.