Duterte: Budget for arms should be used to fight poverty

Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2016 11:21 PM | Updated as of Jul 01 2016 12:52 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he wants to strike peace agreements with various rebel groups so that the budget for arms can instead be used to help poor communities.

Speaking in a solidarity dinner in Tondo, Manila, Duterte said his Cabinet members have started talking with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Muslim rebel groups in order to come up with a peace agreement.

"I'm trying to strike a peace deal with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), nag-uusap po kami. Ako po'y unang presidente ng Pilipinas na galing sa Left, Left po ako. Ang partido ko po, sa umpisa, 1988, Bayan po ako," he said.

"MI(LF), MN(LF), si Murad pati si Misuari, na sana po ay umupo sila, kami, at mag-usap na lang ng kapayapaan. Ginagawa na ho namin 'yan ngayon, at ako po'y humihingi ng tulong kay Allah na tulungan tayong lahat," Duterte added.

READ: Duterte camp, NDF agree on resumption of formal peace talks

If a peace agreement is reached, the government can use the money allotted for bullets and weapons for socio-economic development instead, he said.

"At 'pag naplantsa po ito, 'yung perang ibibili ko ng bala at bomba at patayin 'yung mga kapatid nating Moro pati mga NPA, magamit ko na ho sa lahat ng bagay para makapabuti sa inyong lahat," Duterte said.

He also said that he does not like the idea of allocating a budget to buy items to killing fellow Filipinos.

"I find it hard to magpirma ho ako ng resibo na bibili ho ako ng bomba pati mortar pati bala patayin ko lang ang kapwa ko Pilipino. Napakahirap po. Kaya sana 'yung pera na ibili ko ng mga bala, ibili ko na lang kung anong makatulong sa inyo. Bahay, resettlement, at pati itong trapik ng Maynila," Duterte said.

KILLING DRUG ADDICTS

Duterte also reiterated his call to eradicate use of illegal drugs by killing drug dependents.

"'Yung mga adik ho diyan, kayo na lang ho ang pumatay. Kung anak niya, ikaw ang pumatay. Kung anak niyang adik, ikaw ang pumatay para hindi masyadong masakit. Unahan na lang muna 'yan, kasi darating talaga 'yan, mamatay 'yan," he said, adding that a drug dependent can harm other people.

"'Pag nandiyan 'yan, pabili nang pabili nang pabili, sabihin ko sa inyo, 365 days a year, may isang araw talaga na magkamali 'yan. Pagdating niyan, huwag ho tayo magsisihan kasi nasabi ko na sa inyo."

READ: Duterte to match bounty set by drug lords