CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 10 Sept) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday vowed fair treatment to the ISIS-inspired Maute Group fighting in Marawi if they surrender without harming the hostages.
Duterte made this offer after military commanders on the ground assured him that the terrorists will be soon driven away from Marawi City.
The President said the only way for the terrorists to leave Marawi alive is to surrender to government forces.
“If they surrender, we will try them, give them due process, provide them with a lawyer,” Duterte said.
“There will be no oppression or harassment or anything,” he said. “No violence will be inflicted upon them if they surrender. That I could guarantee to you.” The President added.
“They will be treated as criminals. If they surrender, they will be prosecuted. But they will be treated as human being,” he said.
He assured those who will surrender that they will not be manhandled or starved while in the custody of the military and police.
“I will not allow it. They are not POWs (prisoners of war). They are simply criminals. That is not how we treat people even if they are criminals,” Duterte said.
Duterte arrived here last Saturday to pin the “kampilan” or Wounded Personnel Medal to 74 more soldiers and officers recuperating the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital.
The soldiers and offices were the latest military personnel who got wounded 110 days of fighting in Marawi.
The army hospital has treated at least 1,200 soldiers and officers who were evacuated here since the fighting started on May 23. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)