President Rodrigo Duterte said that he would mobilize the reservists including graduates of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and allow them to use “high-caliber firearms” in the event that the country must fight for its survival.
“Worse comes to worst, the first thing that I will do is to arm the ROTC and the reservist, and after that the civilian,” Duterte said during the inauguration of shooting range in Davao City last February 26.
“I will allow the mobilization and the maybe purchase of the ROTC and those guys who have had military training and I will allow you to use, bear the high-caliber firearms. Kasi if it’s terrorism and they would it — they would do it just like in any other place in the Middle East, then that is the time we will have to fight for our survival,” he added.
But for now, the President said he would not avail of such an option to arm the citizen armed forces. Duterte was concerned that the communist rebels might only steal the weapons from the reservists and threaten their lives.
Instead Duterte urged civilians to stick to small weapons to help keep their homes safe. “In the meantime, you can buy the .22 and the shotgun. It’s a good defense weapon, pambahay lang muna,” he said.
He also said in the same remarks warning the public about the imminent threat of terrorism but also assuring that the military and police were ready to help thwart the enemies of the state.
“There is really a problem in the horizon, the darkening clouds of terrorism,” he said.
“They are regrouping and I’m sure we will have to respond one of these days. I hope it would not be too serious really to cope up with all of these things at the same time. But we have strong Armed Forces. I have good soldiers and we demonstrated it. We have a capable police,” he added.
Duterte, however, said he could be impeached or ousted if he agrees with the demand of communist leader Jose Maria Sison for a coalition government.
“That cannot be done. That will be a violation of the Constitution,” he said.
“I would never go to a peace negotiation on bended knees. I will not. Maybe they just have to wait for somebody else to fill the place,” he added.