By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has urged the people of Maguindanao to share the oil and gas deposits in Liguasan Marsh with other Filipinos if there were indeed resources there.
In his visit to Maguindanao Monday, the President said any oil resources that may be found beneath the large marsh belong to the residents but asked them to give any surplus to the nation dependent on imported oil.
“Kung kaswerte may oil ang Liguasan Marsh, inyo 'yan. Gamitin ninyo na. Walang makialam diyan. The Maguindanao tribe will use it and the sub-tribes dito can use it for their own benefit,” he said in his remarks.
“Ang akin lang, kung sobra-sobra, alam mo na... Kaya sinabi ko 'yan, wala tayong oil. Tulungan ninyo ang bayan ninyo. Kung marami talaga diyan, eh ‘di pahingi naman,” he added.
Duterte also mentioned Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu in his speech, asking the senatorial aspirant to share the potential oil reserves with the fellow Filipinos.
“Kaya dapat kung meron man diyang billion, ‘Señor’ ang tawag sa inyo. Don. Don. Don Senador, share it with the Filipinos,” he said, referring to Mangudadatu who is running for senator under the PDP-Laban party in the May elections.
“Alam mo bakit? Isang tribo lang tayo. We all come from the Malay race kaya tayo magkamukha,” he added.
Mangudadatu had earlier revealed that the untapped oil and gas reserves in Liguasan Marsh were worth an estimated $1 billion.
Duterte tried to dispel concerns that other groups would claim the potential oil reserves in Liguasan Marsh. He assured that the people of Maguindanao would benefit from the wealth from the potentially oil-rich area.
“Sinasabi nila 'yang mga taga-Maynila mga negosyante kagaya nitong – itong marshland ng ano – Liguasan. Oo. Sabi ko inyo 'yan. Walang mag-ano-ano diyan, magkuha-kuha. Kung may oil 'yan, 'di inyo 'yan. Kayo ang mayaman,” he said.