MANILA, Philippines — The freedom of Fr. Chito Suganob, the priest kidnapped by Maute terrorists in Marawi City, was made possible by “special operations” of government forces and not by backdoor talks with militants, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday.
Duterte maintained that he would never negotiate with the Maute group as he stressed that the offensives against the jihadists would continue “until the last terrorist is taken out.”
“You know, Fr. Suganob, he was not released. He was liberated through special operation… ibig sabihin ginapang yan ng mga Special Forces or yung mga ranger (that means, the Special Forces and rangers maneuvered it),” the president told reporters in Caloocan City.
Asked if backdoor negotiations were held to ensure the safe release of the Catholic priest, Duterte replied: “Impossible. I will not even agree to look at them. You understood what I said before that this will not end until the last terrorist is taken out.”
“That is my order to the Armed Forces and the police: Hanggang yung katapusang tao dun na masama (It will continue until the last terrorist is vanquished),” he added.
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