CLARK Freeport -- Only through peace can a country like the Philippines can achieve development and progress.
This was stressed by President Rodrigo Duterte during the convergence here last Thursday of the 9,000 Nanay Community Volunteers, a women organization organized by Gov. Lilia Pineda in Pampanga.
Citing Davao City as an example, Duterte said that when he became mayor there, he realized that the city will never develop without peace.
“So ’yung unang pam-pagulo doon, ’yung away ng militar, pati ’yung mga NPA, nagpapatayan sila, nagbabarilan mismo sa siyudad na. So kinausap ko ang NPA, kung maa-ari lang po, tutal ang laki-laki ng Pilipinas eh, lumipat na lang kayo sa ibang bayan. Doon sa Luzon malawak. Marami kayong mahingian. Huwag dito sa siyudad ko, kasi alam mong mahirap lang eh,” he told the crowds who clapped and cheered to his statement.
The President said he and the New People’s Army understand each other.
“Actually, we talk on the same wavelength. Ako po’y anak lang ng mahirap. Ang tatay ko’y pumunta ng Mindanao nu’ng binata pa, married a Mindanaoan, and ’yun ang buhay namin talagang mahirap,” he said.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front, political arm of the NPA, is currently having peace talks with the Philippine government under the Duterte administration.
Duterte said that while he requested the NPA to refrain having gunfights within his city, he also warned criminal groups in Davao City to leave.
“So, when I became mayor, diretso na ako. ‘Umalis kayo sa Davao. Huwag ninyong sirain ang mga anak namin, because if you deprived us of the youth for the next generation, I will kill you. Do not destroy my city, because if there are no jobs, no businesses,’ ang private sector lang naman makabigay niyan,” he said.
“Punta kayong Davao, tingnan ninyo ang Davao. Malinis, pwede kang magpasyal maski saan sa gabi, kaya lang ’pag ala-una, tapos nang inuman. ’Pag sa Davao, hindi ka pwede manigarilyo ’pag naglalakad-lakad. Lalo na sa park,” he added.
Duterte recognized the Nanay Community Volunteers who pledge to help in the government’s campaign against illegal drugs.