MANILA (Mabuhay) — The military must have access to every inch of the country, including areas of indigenous peoples or lumad in Mindanao, President Rodrigo Duterte said at past midnight Thursday.
Asked about the issue of militarization of lumad communities that IP leaders believe should be eased with the advent of the ceasefire and peace talks with communist leaders, Duterte said, “There is no such thing as a militarization.”
“Every inch of this property of republic must be occupied by soldiers of the government,” Duterte said in a news conference in Davao City.
“There is no such thing as hindi kayo papasok diyan kasi no militarization there,” he added.
What may be prevented, Duterte said, are open conflicts between the military and the lumad, and the influences behind each.
“Siguro yung overt acts , yung makipagway, ‘yun ang iniiwasan,” Duterte said.
Duterte said conflict only developed because of the involvement of the Alamara paramilitary group and the Communist Party of the Philippines.
“Kanya-kanyang sphere of influence,” Duterte said.(MNS