President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday apologized to the Maranao people for the destruction suffered by Marawi City amid the fierce clashes between government troops and members of the Maute terrorist group, and for declaring martial law in Mindanao in connection with the Marawi situation.
"Hindi pa naman natapos ang Ramadan, I would like to say to the Maranao people that I am very, very, very sorry na nangyari ito sa atin. Sana kung madaling panahon you will find a new heart to forgive my soldiers, ang gobyerno, pati ako for declaring martial law," he said during his visit to the National School of Fisheries in Iligan City.
“Wala akong choice eh. Sinisira na ang Marawi. I have to drive them (Maute group) out. But I am very sorry. Pakiabot na lang doon sa mga kapatid nating mga Maranao na ang aking paghihinanakit rin sa nangyari na ito. Patawarin ninyo po kami,” he added.
Duterte, who is from Mindanao, promised that he would help rehabilitate Marawi City as well as the residents driven out of the city by the armed conflict.
"Tutulungan ko kayo. Huwag kayong mag-alala. Tutulungan ko kayo hanggang relocation. And then, we will rehabilitate ang Marawi. Gaganda iyon ulit,” he said.
Duterte, however, castigated Maranao people who allowed a foreign ideology to destroy Marawi City, referring to the influence of international terrorist group ISIS on Maute group and its sympathizers. —KBK, GMA New