DAVAO CITY – President Aquino must take full control of government and prevent the renewed outbreak of hostilities in Central Mindanao, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday.
Duterte said the President should regain control of the situation and come up with a security plan.
“We have to prepare for the worst. Is government now prepared for that?” Duterte asked.
Duterte warned the administration that unless the government could come up with a backup plan to prevent the collapse of the peace process, hostilities could return.
“Let this be fair warning to our national leaders. The indicators of an eruption of violence in Central Mindanao area are becoming very evident,” he said.
The mayor earlier called on the President to take full responsibility for what happened in Mamasapano, Maguindanao where 44 police commandos were killed during an encounter with Muslim rebels, who suffered 18 dead. Civilians were wounded in the clash.
Aquino should end the blame game, which has shown cracks in the relations between Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Duterte.
He said while almost everyone is busy trying to pin down the President for his role in the disastrous police operation in Mamasapano, resulting in clashes with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), “nobody is minding the store.”
He said that if the government fails to come up with a back-up plan for the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which is expected to be rejected by Congress and the Senate following Mamasapano, the whole peace process will collapse.
Earlier, there were reports that Christian vigilante groups are already arming themselves in preparation for the expected rampage of the Bangsamoro rebel groups.
The situation, however, may no longer be the same as in the 1970s when the Moro rebel groups were equipped with World War II vintage guns.
Today, the MILF and the BIFF possess sophisticated weaponry that could match the firepower of the AFP.
In the bloody Mamasapano clash, for example, the MILF and BIFF seized modern and heavy armaments including 90 RRs and M-60 machineguns with night vision scopes from the slain SAF commandos.