President Rodrigo Duterte could also be critical in speaking to members of the terrorist Maute group to put an finish to the battle in Marawi City, however Malacanang seems to be at a loss on how precisely he plans to do it.
During the press briefing on the Palace Tuesday (May 30), Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella gave a obscure reply when requested if there’s a mechanism for Duterte to begin a dialogue with the Maute group.
“Well, already he has opened the doors, right? I mean, as you can very well see. But the mere fact that he states it, that means to say that he’s open to it and if the mechanism is he has opened it and there should be some adequate response to that,” he mentioned.
Pressed additional on how Duterte plans to talk to the Maute group if there may be an ongoing navy operation in opposition to them, Abella mentioned the President can at all times begin backchannel talks.
However, he mentioned he’s unaware if there may be an appointed emissary for the talks.
“But if so, they can always find a way,” Abella mentioned.
When requested if it isn’t the federal government coverage not to negotiate with terrorists, Abella mentioned: “Not to negotiate with terrorists? Definitely. But in this particular case, we have… That’s already a policy, okay. So I will not presume on that.”
“The only thing I can — I can respond to, is the fact that the President himself has said that he’s open,” he added.
In a speech in Iligan City final week, Duterte mentioned he’s prepared to talk to “neutral” members of the Maute group and its allies whilst he maintained that the order for the navy is to battle terrorists.