Duterte: No to RP-US war games in Davao
- Joseph Lawrence Garcia () - June 2, 2007 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY – “I don’t want American soldiers here. They would only serve as magnets for terrorists.”

With these words, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his stance against the conduct of a joint military exercise between the Philippines and the United States in Southern Mindanao, especially in Davao City.

During the regular meeting of the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) which he chairs, Duterte said that although he has seen how the US military had won wars in movies, the real world is much different.

He said the presence of US troops here could draw attacks from the enemies of the state.

Duterte said he is confident in the capability of the police and the military to maintain peace and order in the region.

But if the national government pressures him to host the joint military exercise here, Duterte said he would not take any responsibility for anything that might happen.

Duterte made known his stance against such joint war games last year, arguing that Americans do not understand that the Mindanao conflict is historical and would take years to be resolved.

He disclosed during the RPOC meeting, attended by government, police and military officials, that someone from Malacañang had proposed to him that the joint Balikatan exercise be held here.  

He said he instantly rejected the proposal, reasoning out that the holding of the military exercise did not deter terrorist attacks in other places.

Meanwhile, Duterte said Task Force Davao will remain in the city and the region, belying earlier reports that it will be abolished.

“The deterrence provided by Task Force Davao is visual,” he said.

DUTERTE MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE PLACE REGION REGIONAL PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL SOUTHERN MINDANAO TASK FORCE DAVAO
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