Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said President Aquino must take full responsibility for the disastrous operation to capture international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25 which resulted in the slaughter of 44 members of the elite Police Special Action Force (SAF).
In an interview with Dumaguete media, Duterte said while he does not want to offend the President, somebody has to tell Aquino to step forward and take the blame for the ill-fated operation.
Duterte is in Dumaguete City for a two-university swing in the city to continue his Federalism advocacy which he said is the best option should the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law fail to pass in Congress.
“As mayor of Davao City, for example, I take full responsibility for whatever happens in an operation which I order to be implemented,” he said citing a case where policemen who were following his orders were charged for alleged excesses in the killing of suspected kidnap for ransom gang members in the city last year.
Duterte and his group are making a tour of Dumaguete City, Dapitan City and Dipolog City to continue their advocacy for Federalism.
In his address Wednesday before 700 Silliman University students, Duterte said the only option left now to address the problems in Mindanao was Federalism.
Under the proposal, Duterte said a Federal State could be established for the Muslim provinces of Central Mindanao and another Federal State for the island provinces of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu.
Next week, Duterte will barnstorm the cities of Dagupan in Pangasinan, Baguio and Angeles in Pampanga as he continues the “Listening Tour” aimed at pushing for a shift to a federal system of government while at the same time feeling the pulse of the people who have been clamoring for Duterte to consider running for president in 2016.