Moro rebels assured of gov’t aid

September 08, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte and Murad Ebrahim
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte along with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) commander Murad Ebrahim (back, with Muslim cap) and other government officials inspect handed-over weapons by MILF rebels during the decommissioning ceremony in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao. AFP

AS hundreds of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters turned over their weapons on Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte assured the Moro rebels the government is ready to assist them as they transition to civilian lives.

“As we proceed with the decommissioning process, let me assure the MILF combatants that the government will assist you as you reintegrate into the society, and enjoy fruitful and productive civilian lives,” Duterte said during his speech at the second phase launch of the MILF decommissioning in Sultan Kudarat, Mindanao.

Duterte also told decommissioned fighters not to fret, as their community would enjoy an independent government. The chief executive added he is willing to provide new weapons—should the need for further security arise.

“Do not be disheartened na nag-surrender ka ng armas. Inyo na itong gobyerno na ito. Binigay namin sa inyo,” Duterte told the MILF community.

“Kung kailangan niyo talaga ng armas para idepensa ninyo ang gobyerno dito sa BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), walang problema, bigyan ko kayo mas bago (If you really need weapons to defend your government here in the BARMM, no problem, I’ll give you new ones),” he added.