President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday reiterated the government’s commitment to long-lasting peace amid negotiations with communist rebels.
“We cannot fight forever. We can’t build a nation over the bones of our countrymen … My job as President is not to wage war against our own people. My primary task is to seek peace for everybody,” Duterte said before troops in Camp Siongco, Cotabato City.
“Alam ko na ang peace talks mahirap ’yan, but our job really is to bridge. You must remember that your understanding will bridge the peace with our generation now and ’yung generation na susunod,” he told the soldiers.
As the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front launched the implementation stage of the Bangsamoro agreement and a week before the peace talks with communists in Norway, Duterte called for unity and urged the soldiers to “find space in your heart.”
“No one is at fault here. It’s useless to kill each other until kingdom come. Kami sa gobyerno, we want peace. Before Islam and Christianity came, we were all brothers and sisters. Kaya ang balat natin magkakapareho,” he said.
Duterte also assured the soldiers of the government’s support in terms of salary and equipment, reiterating his previous promise to double their current pay by December.
In my time you will have everything you need … Itong sweldo ninyo ngayong August makikita n’yo na ang increase. Hopefully doblado na ‘yan by December,” he said. “What I can assure you is that ang standard ng fire power natin … dapat tayo the best talaga.”
“Kung mamatay kayo sa time ko, you should be proud. In my time there will be no corruption. Hindi ito panahon ng mga mayayaman at abusado … Hindi ito panahon ng mga mayaman at abusado,” Duterte added.
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