|Philippines President Duterte|
By Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte yesterday denied initiating talks with the Maute group to end the Marawi City crisis, as he stressed that he would never negotiate with terrorists.
Duterte said many soldiers and policemen have died since fighting erupted in Marawi last May so the situation should not be taken lightly.
“Huwag nila ako biruin na istorya-istorya lang tayo (Do not fool around with me). If there has to be peace, it would really be peace... let us finish this once and for all,” the President told reporters in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
“I never talked to terrorists… I would never talk to criminals and terrorists but I will talk to revolutionaries who are imbued with principles,” the President said.
Asked if there were efforts to initiate talks with the Maute, Duterte said: “Well, MI (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and MN (Moro National Liberation Front) probably have started initiatives there but if it would come from me, that I will ask something from criminals and terrorists, that’s impossible.”
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