Akbayan wonders if President Duterte is obsessed with death and turning the entire Philippines into a graveyard. Arming civilians to combat professional terrorists like the Abu Sayyaf is a surefire way of promoting violence and unmitigated bloodbath all over the country.
Spokesperson Abella's verbal acrobatics denying the president's statement as a policy is belied by Duterte's use of the word pardon, betraying the weight that these words carry with government institutions, such as the police, which has been implicated in the thousands of extra judicial killings as a result of Duterte's drug campaign.
The only was to defeat the Abu Sayyaf is to reverse the political marginalization of the Bangsamoro, bring development to the remote villages of Mindanao & realize inclusive growth, empower citizens & build solidarity among the peoples of the region. It is tedious and long-term, but that's the nature of governing.
Spokesperson Abella would make better use of his time as a close aide to President Duterte by reminding his principal that the country elected a president, not a serial killer, to lead the country.
Almost one year into his term, this administration has only boasted of reaping the low lying fruits of previous administrations' efforts. It has no distinct achievement of its own. Instead things have gone back to the days when plunderers dined on the same table together, while the poor literally die on the street gunned down by unknown assailants.
This is not change. This is carnage, while Duterte and the oligarchs are having cake.