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Pres Duterte: Peace for Sulu, not War

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Nov. 28 -- President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his call for peace with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Sulu province, saying war is out of the question despite the ongoing skirmishes with the militant group in the area.

“Ako, iniisip ko ang lahat. I have to think of everyone. Yan ang problema. I can be nasty and a bad boy, but we are talking about a nation. I can do it (all-out-war) but I can’t do it because there will be losses including civilians,” he said.

Duterte said he would not resort to declaring war because he is more concerned about the civilians and worried about huge casualties such an action may inflict upon the local populace.“

I can bomb the whole of Sulu but what would it bring us? It would kill thousands. Would it bring us peace if I use force? As a president, nakatali kami,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Jolo on Nov. 25 to visit and extend assistance to wounded soldiers fighting the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu.

Duterte handed over P100,000 special financial assistance (SFA), and additional P10,000 cash to each of the 13 injured soldiers.

The families of those killed in combat, who were also present, were given P250,000 special financial assistance (SFA) and additional P20,000 cash.

All the wounded and the relatives of those killed received additional financial assistance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which was handed over by the President.

On the same day, the President flew to Zamboanga City in the afternoon to visit soldiers wounded in action in Sulu at the Camp Navarro General Hospital inside the Western Mindanao Command headquarters. PIA-9

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