President Rodrigo Duterte has denied a Reuters report claiming he reached out to a Muslim chief to dealer backchannel talks with the Maute household after terrorists attacked Marawi City final May.
In an interview after visiting the 402nd Infantry Brigade in Bukidnon Thursday (July 6), Duterte known as Agakhan Sharief a “pretender.”
“No, I did not. That’s a… He’s a pretender. I’d never talk to terrorists, that’s one,” he stated.
Sharief informed Reuters he was approached by a senior aide of Duterte days after the Maute group attacked Marawi City on May 23 to use his connections so the President can maintain backchannel talks with the terrorist group.
The plan, nonetheless, fell by way of when Duterte introduced in a May 31 speech that he is not going to talk to terrorists.
Duterte stated the proposal to talk to the Mautes may need come from both the Moro National Liberation Front and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“The MI and MN probably have started initiatives there. But kung manggaling sa akin, ako maghingi sa mga criminal pati terorista, imposible,” he stated.
Duterte stated he was in no temper to play video games on condition that the death toll brought on by the combating in Marawi City continues to improve.
“Marami na akong patay na sundalo pati pulis. Huwag nila akong biruin ng mag-istorya-istorya lang tayo. If there has to be peace, it would really be peace,” he stated.
Earlier within the day, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella stated it was the mom of Abdullah and Omar Maute, Farhana, who reached out to Duterte to talk however he turned it down.