Duterte to Misuari on offer to send MNLF fighters to Marawi: Wait, not now
By Edwin O. Fernandez
TACURONG CITY (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesdy said here that his administration is not yet ready to allow Moro rebels to join the military in the fight against the Maute and Abu Sayyaf Groups in Marawi City.
Talking to soldiers at the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade headquarters in Barangay Kalandagan here, Duterte said he talked to Misuari who offered to send 2,000 MNLF fighters to Marawi City.
“Teka, huwag muna, huwag muna,” Duterte said of Misuari’s proposal in the meeting. Earlier, in Cagayan de Oro City, the President said he accepted Misuari’s offer.
“Kaya natin yan sila (terrorists) konti lang yan sila, not in a million years they can defeat us,” he added.
He also reiterated his offer to the New People’s Army (NPA) fighters to surrender. “Surrender kayo, gagawin ko kayong sundalo ng gobyerno,” he said.
In the same venue, President Duterte announced that arrested Police Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza, former PNP Crime Laboratory deputy director for Region 11 (Davao City), was the conduit of ISIS to Abu Sayyaf.
Nobleza, a “Balik Islam” married to an Abu Sayyaf member, was arrested in Bohol trying to rescue beleaguered ASG fighters.
To the soldiers, the President said: “I asked you to never waver the commitment to defend the republic from all threats, especially of terrorism, criminality and illegal drugs and insurgency.” (PNA)