Provincial Multi-Purpose Gym, Capitol Site, Barangay Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu
March 26, 2018

“Wala akong ibang hangarin kundi bigyan ng kapayapaan ang mga Moro sa Mindanao,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as he inspected the surrendered firearms from the different municipalities in Sulu.

President Duterte stated that his visit aimed at initiating talks with the local government of Sulu and its constituents to finally end the warfare in the province.

“Gusto ko kayong makausap… Let’s try to do it during my time. I’m not saying to come to war or to peace. All I say is come to me, I will listen to you, and please, listen to me… So that pagdating ng BBL, magkausap tayo,” he said.

Aside from the hand over of firearms, several members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who surrendered to the government were presented to the Commander-in-Chief. He also urged the Moro rebels to surrender, particularly the ASG, saying that they would be accorded the same grants and assistance just like what he did with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who surrendered before.

“I’m not dreaming. Only those who want to surrender, wala ako magawa doon sa those who want to fight… for those interested, government is ready. Malaki man itong Sulu, hindi ako mag-condo condo, gawa lang ako ng bahay, to accommodate you,” he said.

According to the Public Information Office (PIO) of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), a total of 76 rebels surrendered to the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu and were presented to the Commander-in-Chief. Out of this number, 48 rebels surrendered in 2017 while 28 rebels surrendered this year. The rebels also handed over 205 pieces of assorted firearms.

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