DAVAO CITY – All armed groups, including those of the communists and Muslim secessionist groups, should be disbanded for the country to achieve stability, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday.
“No other armed groups should be allowed to operate in the country except the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),” Duterte said at a forum in Pampanga.
He said the federal government he is espousing would prevent the creation of powerful and autonomous states, particularly in areas covered by the proposed Bangsamoro entity.
Duterte said even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front and the New People’s Army should be asked to lay down their arms once these groups agree to join him in what he described as a unity government if he becomes President in 2016.
He said stability in the country could only be attained if no other groups aside from the PNP and the AFP would be allowed to carry firearms.
Duterte said under the federal government that he is proposing, there will be 14 federal states with their own police force under the supervision of a National Police Force.
The federal government, he said, would retain control over the Armed Forces, foreign relations and finance.
The creation of federal states – especially for the Bangsamoro, which have been clamoring for self-governance – is the best option to the Bangsamoro entity, he added.
Duterte said federalism is the best option to save the peace process in Mindanao, particularly now that the Bangsamoro Basic Law risks rejection in Congress.
Read more on The Philippine Star.