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ICC Note:

After the fighting broke out in the Philippines over four weeks ago, the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte made some controversial statements in an attempt to justify his order for martial law last month. He warned of a civil war breaking out between the Muslims and the Christians if the fighting poured over into other parts of Mindanao. President Duterte stated, “Because if there’s civil war, there would be killings. Here in Mindanao, there are more Christians and they have better guns. They are buying. The rich ones, they’re stockpiling guns.” Most analysts contend he has no basis for such remarks.

06/22/2017 The Philippines (AsiaNews.it) – In his latest controversial statement, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte said that a civil war might break out between Christians and Muslims on the island of Mindanao (southern Philippines), something that local analysts exclude.

The country’s Catholic Church has taken a more realistic approach to the crisis that broke out in Lanao del Sur province on 23 May. For Card Orlando Beltran Quevedo of Cotabato, focus should be on fighting the social injustices that cause extremism.

Yesterday, President Duterte met with wounded soldiers in Cagayan De Oro. He warned that if the violence unleashed by Maute terrorists spilled over into other parts of Mindanao, Christians would arm themselves, and a civil war with Muslims might ensue.

“Because if there’s civil war, there would be killings. Here in Mindanao, there are more Christians and they have better guns. They are buying. The rich ones, they’re stockpiling guns,” he said.

Duterte said the armed forces would then have to deal not just with Maute terrorists but also armed Christians.

Analysts who spoke to AsiaNews strongly reject this possibility, dismissing his view as baseless. Duterte is not new to this type of remarks, often rectified by his spokespeople.

According to experts, his claims are an attempt to justify the decision to impose martial law on the island of Mindanao, which has been a major discussion point among politicians and ordinary Filipinos over the past month.

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