Duterte threatens 'might of the Republic' vs. terrorist coddlers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday gave final warning to those giving sanctuary or are about to offer refuge to terrorists.

The President said he's ready to unleash the full force of the armed forces and the police just to capture terrorists like the Maute group.

"I will use the might of the Republic of the Philippines to impose our stand," Duterte said.

But President said he would prefer the peaceful route, if possible.

Duterte pleaded to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF): "Do not provide sanctuary" to terrorists.

"I am earnestly asking… nakikiusap po ako sa MN(LF) pati sa MI(LF), na do not provide sanctuary, itong mga terorista sa lugar ninyo. Kasi pagka ganon, then we will be forced to go after them within your territory," Duterte said.

[Translation: I am pleading to MNLF and PILF, do not provide sanctuary to terrorists in your area. If you do that, then we will be forced to go after them within your territory]

"That could mean trouble for all of us. Ayoko mangyari 'yan [I don't wan't that to happen]," he added.

Duterte said the government respects the agreement between the MILF not to go into their territory without notice.

"Look, ako I'm ready to talk with you. Kagaya ng Mamasapano, maybe nilunok nalang ng lahat because they went inside without the blessings of the MILF. Ok nalang yan kasi nagkamali ang gobyerno. There was a serious flaw… We swallowed it. Pati ako, wala kayong narinig," Duterte said.

[Translation: Like in Mamasapano, everyone just swallowed it because they went inside without the blessings of the MILF. That's nearly fine because the government was at fault. There was a serious flaw… we swallowed it. You didn't hear anything, even from me.]

But the President also pointed out, giving sanctuary to terrorists and hindering the armed forces and the police from arresting radicals is a different story.

"Mapipilitan akong sabihin sa Armed Forces pati sa pulis, pasukin ninyo. Magkakalabuan tayo dito, [I will be forced to command the Armed Forces and the police to enter. We will have a grim relationship]," Duterte said, stressing that he hates war.

When this happens, the President said he can only pray for everybody.