By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte said that despite the reports violence and harassment in Lanao del Sur, he said the province is still controllable.
Duterte made the statement days after he said he is considering to send more troops to Lanao del Sur after hearing reports of violence and harassment days before the elections.
In an interview with reporters after casting his vote, Duterte said he would have gone to Lanao del Sur on Sunday but eventually decided against it because it may be considered electioneering.
“Lanao, gusto ko ngang pumunta dun (I really want to go there)..but the problem is if I go there today, whether I like it or not people will always congregate where I am and political leaders will also be there. So it might be construed by the many na (that it is) campaigning beyond the allowable days,” he said.
“Rather than risk disqualification, parang ‘di naman talaga pwede (which cannot happen), but Samar, del Sur, Lanao remains to be controllable,” he added.
According to the President, he is in constant communication with the authorities and getting updates about the developments in the province.
“We are, I communicate with the army and the police almost every hour. And for them to tell if there is something big, a big splash in the conduct of the elections,” Duterte said.
On Saturday, the President expressed concern about the “trouble” in the province and said he will personally go to Lanao Del Sur if unlawful activities continue.
“I’m talking about the trouble that is now going on in Lanao del Sur. Either you stop it or marami diyan, failure of an election kung hindi makaboto o talagang plain terrorism (Either you stop it or there are many, a failure of an election if they cannot vote or plain terrorism),” Duterte said.
“Pagka ganun, pagbalik ko diyan magdala na ako ng maraming sundalo (If that happens, I will return and bring many soldiers),” he added.
“You must remember that until now martial law exists in Mindanao. Do not force me. Do not force my hand to do something which you might not like and hate me for all time,” he continued.