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Govt offers hope after rebels surrender arms.

President Rodrigo Duterte and his top aide, Christopher Lawrence 'Bong' Go, are welcomed by the military upon their arrival at Kampo Ranao in Marawi City.

Manila Times/Manila

President Rodrigo Duterte, together with Special Assistant to the President and Secretary Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go and top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, witnessed the presentation of surrenderers from the Islamic State-inspired Maute group on Friday at Kampo Ranao in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Also presented and turned over to the government by Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte residents were 1,678 unlicensed guns that they have been keeping in support of the government's campaign against loose firearms.

Introduced to the president were 27 surrenderers, including 34-year-old Adliah Miimbantas Maute, wife of Mohamed Kahyam "Otto" Maute, the oldest of the Maute brothers, and 69-year old Ibrahim Mitoon Macadato, former mayor of Butig, Lanao del Sur.

"Give us time to rebuild and establish the good will. I'm inviting ([the rest of the) Maute (group) to come down and we will talk on how we can improve your lives," Duterte said, underscoring the government's sincerity to talk peace with the rebels.

The president announced that the government will provide the surrenderers with housing, capital, land and employment.

Go, meanwhile, declared his readiness to assist in delivering on the promises of Duterte.

The president also gave his commitment to distribution of land to the landless.

"I'm ready to proclaim land reform in Maguindanao and the whole of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur," he said.

The president then ordered Go to ensure a comprehensive land survey in Marawi City to segregate portions that will be given to Maranaos and other indigenous groups.

Duterte said the government will also provide tractors so that land can be tilled and planted with rubber or palm trees.

The surrenderers will be brought to Malacanang in Manila, and then to Malaysia or Indonesia to learn the technology of developing a palm oil

plantation.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 13, 2018
Words:347
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