President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday admitted that he continues to pray to God to spare the Philippines from possible attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Meron po akong ISIS and ito ‘yung nagbibigay sa akin ng kaba talaga,” Duterte said in a speech during the oath-taking of newly-appointed officials in Malacañan Palace.
“I am not a person easily swayed by itong mga dito but ‘yung putok you are not – you are spectators of the international scene,” he added.
Duterte said what he feared the most is seeing scores of innocent people killed just like in Iraq and Syria.
“Ang tinatakutan ko ‘yung just like Iraq, Syria na maraming inosenteng taong nadadale,” Duterte said.
“I’m praying, I really pray, talagang lumuluhod ako sa Diyos na to spare us the kind of brutality and cruelty in our country because it will really be bloody, bloody as it can ever be,” he added.
Meanwhile, Duterte mentioned of “sparks” that would derail the transition period to the establishment of the Bangsamoro parliamentary government in 2022.
“As it is ‘yung Bangsamoro Law, there are already a sort of medyo sparks there that would tend to maybe derail the smooth transition for the Bangsamoro people. That is territorial, ‘yung kay Murad, MILF,” Duterte said.
Duterte was referring to Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) interim chief minister and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim.
He also expressed hope that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari would accept “the same arrangement” he gave the MILF which led to the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“Meron tayong MNLF that is the Sulu up to Tawi-Tawi area, Basilan, I am praying to God that Nur Misuari will be enlightened and will be able to accept maybe the same terms that we have extended to Murad,” Duterte said.
“That is the only way really without a breakage in our society,” he added.
Last June, Duterte bared that he was trying to set up another meeting with Misuari. PNA