Duterte offers peace talks with Abu Sayyaf after signing Bangsamoro law

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President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 28) —  President Rodrigo Duterte called on the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to come to the negotiating table and talk peace.

"Hindi 'yung away na pwede tayong makipagsapalaran na ubusan. Mag-usap na lang. Iyong Abu Sayyaf, mag-usap na lang tayo," he said Friday.

[Translation: "Let's not fight til our forces and resources are depleted. Let's just negotiate. To the Abu Sayyaf, let's just negotiate."]

Duterte made the remark a day after he signed the Organic Law on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao on Thursday. The law is the result of decades-long peace talks between the Philippine government and Moro rebel groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

READ: The Bangsamoro Organic Law: Everything you need to know

"Iyong (Bangsamoro law) tapos na. Bigyan lang natin ng panahon. Huwag tayong mag-giyera. Kasi kung maggiyera - wala naman problema mamatay tayo," Duterte said in a speech before the victims of the fire which razed 2,600 homes in Jolo.

[Translation: "The Bangsamoro law is signed. Let's just give it time. Let's not go to war. If we do -- it would be no problem, we would all just die."]

The United Nations Secretary General, in a statement Friday, welcomed the signing of the law and called it a "landmark achievement."

"The Secretary-General congratulates negotiators for the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Bicameral Conference Committee, the Bangsamoro Transition Commission and civil society groups for their efforts," his statement read.

Offering an award?

Duterte then said he would award the ASG with the Order of Lapu-lapu should they comply with his request.

"Iyong mga Abu Sayyaf na gusto ng medalya ng Lapu-Lapu, sabihin mo pagbalik ko kasi ako ang maglagay rin sa kanila para tabla. Pero walang away ha? Totoo," he said.

[Translation: The Abu Sayyaf who want a medal of Lapu-Lapu, tell them when I return I will put them on myself. But I ask for no war.]

The award is granted to individuals who serve in line with the President's advocacies, under Executive Order 57.

However, he also joked about giving the bandits lapu-lapu, a type of local fish.

"'Pag nagkaintindihan tayo, kayo mga Abu Sayyaf, bigyan ko kayo ng malaking lapu-lapu rin. Parang kalaki ng isang platito," he said.

[Translation: "If we understand each other, I will give you Abu Sayyaf large lapu-lapu fish, the size of a saucer."]

The ASG is one of the foreign terrorist organizations listed by the United States Department of State.

Duterte previously said he does not talk to terrorists, dispelling claims he tried to negotiate with ISIS-linked groups that attacked Marawi City in May last year. The Abu Sayyaf faction led by slain senior leader Isnilon Hapilon joined the Maute brothers in the five-month war that led to over 100 casualties, most of them local and foreign terrorists.