Duterte: No failure of intelligence in Marawi crisis

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(File photo)

(CNN Philippines, June 18) — President Rodrigo Duterte said it was not a failure in intelligence that led to the Marawi City crisis.

In a speech before members of the 4th Infantry Division in Butuan City yesterday, Duterte said, "It was not a question of failure on the part of government."

He said it was because the government "adopted a very soft policy" when dealing with rebels.

According to Duterte, this soft stance happened "Because nagdadala sila ng baril eh [because they were carrying guns]. And since we are thinking of getting peace with the MNLF and MI, ang laro ng armas diyan [the use if arms there], we took it for granted. We took it really for granted na. Pero alam natin na mabibigat [But we knew it was substantial]. "

As this happened, the Maute group – "with the connivance of the politicians there" – were stockpiling arms. This, Duterte said, is the reason why the rebels' arms and ammo seem to be inexhaustible.

Duterte warned troops of the dangers of dealing with Maute and ISIS.

"Mahirap kalabanin 'yung taong gustong mamatay [It is difficult to fight with those willing to die]... They have so corrupted the name of God in the form of religion to kill many innocent persons and to destroy for nothing."

But he said he is confident of the strength of the Armed Forces.

"Ni hindi tayo magdadalawang-isip nito kasi mahirap. Ngayon, alam ko na you bear the brunt of fighting the war. You are the Armed Forces of the Philippines."

[Translation: We will not have second thoughts even if this is diffifult. Now, I know you bear the brunt of fighting the war. You are the Armed Forces of the Philippines.]

Duterte to troops: I am with you

Despite the seriousness of his speech, the President assured troops that he has their support.

"Ang masabi ko lang sa inyo, you have a...kasama ninyo ako sa lahat ng bagay. In all of your...mga kailangan ninyo, may priority kayo sa gobyerno ngayon. Lahat ng kailangan ninyo, kung maibigay ko, ibibigay ko."

[Translation: All I can tell you is I am with you in all things. You are among the government's priorities now. All that you need, if I can give it to you, I will.]

Duterte added he would make an effort to have troops' families provided for by establishing a multi-billion peso fund to support their schooling.

"Mayroon na akong na target na ₱20 billion. Pag-alis ko sa pagka-Presidente sa gobyerno na 'to, if I can have ₱50 billion trust fund – bangko ang magpatakbo, Central Bank, no other. Kasi 'yung iba nawawala 'yung pera. Fifty billion, i-money market nila 'yan, that would suffice for all your children. 'Yung interes lang niyan ₱50 billion."

[Translation: I have a ₱20 billion target. When I leave the Presidency, if I can have a ₱50 billion trust fund - the bank will run it. Central bank, no other. Because some might lose the money. Fifty billion, if they put it into the money market, that would suffice for all your children. The interest of that would be ₱50 billion.]

Duterte promised soldiers that they would get top quality medical care.

However he asked troops to be "clever" soldiers.

He said, "Gamitin mo lang lahat ng instincts mo to survive so that you will have a time to see maybe your grandchildren."

"I love you all at mahal ko kayong lahat. Nasasaktan ako pagka may nadisgrasya. But ang consuelo ninyo, hindi kayo madehado sa armas at sa lahat. Lalo na sa pangangailangan ninyo... Because you are always there out in the fields, ang isip ko rin nasa inyo lang palagi, kung paano ko mapaganda at maprotektahan kayo."

[Translation: I love you all. I am hurt whenever someone gets hurt. But as consolation, you will never lack arms and whatever it is you may need. Because you are always out there in the fields, I am always thinking of you - how I can protect you.]