President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has appealed for peace as the country gears toward the national election next year, warning he might deploy the military if there is threat to peace and order especially in Mindanao.
“Nobody wants trouble, nobody wants cheating. But minsan — hindi kayo — but pass this on, this message to everybody outside here na sabi ko nakikiusap na ako, I am pleading, almost praying that people will really stick to the rule of law and avoid violence kasi ‘pag hindi, unahan ko na kayo,” President Duterte said during the inauguration of the new Sultan Kudarat Provincial Hospital in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat on Friday.
“Then I will be forced to use the might of the military not for any purpose but to see to it that the election is peaceful and violence-free. Iyan ang hiling ko, not only here but all places on — in the Philippines, lahat, ganoon ang message ko.”
The President hopes for a peaceful general election next year that will allow people to vote freely for the candidates of their choice.
At the same time, he expressed readiness for a dialogue with all political leaders, and those participating in the electoral process to ensure an orderly election next year.
“Gusto ko sana na makita ang Maguindanao, ang Sultan Kudarat, and every province, Cotabato City, na walang gulo,” he said.
“I am hesitant really to say this. In the forthcoming election, I am still the President. And just like in the last elections that we have had during my term, sinabi ko there will be a peaceful election. So hindi puwede ‘yang terrorism, lahat na.”