News Release

President Duterte determined to build  ‘strong’ security forces

Davao City — The administration is focused on strengthening the country’s military and police forces, President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday, February 26.

In his speech during the inauguration of a shooting range here, President Duterte reiterated his commitment to further enhance the armed capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to avert any future threats and challenges to national security.

“I wish to announce now that I want to build a strong Armed Forces and a strong police bago ako mag-alis sa aking opisina (before I leave my office),” Duterte said during the opening of the newest shooting range of Armscor in Barangay Catitipan.

“They will have the priority in the purchase. Well, of course, we want to have the infrastructure but what would it do good to us if we are a weak nation? Kaya-kayanin ka lang. (You will be treated as a pushover.),” he added.

In line with the continuing modernization program of the government, Duterte announced that the Philippines would be receiving some 5,000 firearms from a “friendly country” in the coming days.

“I am not at liberty to divulge it but in the next few days we will have about 5,000 more shipment coming from a friendly country,” he said.

He noted that the government is trying to acquire firearms from countries other than the United States to be able to equip the military and police with the necessary weapons to quell the threat of terrorism such as the Marawi siege.

“We will survive and we will win these pocket wars. And we will be a great nation someday,” he stressed.

The President likewise raised the possibility of arming the military reservists and graduates of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) to combat terrorism.

“But if things get worse, 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,” he said.

“You attempt to attack a city, then we are prepared and I’m sure we are capable of doing it,” he said adding that he would strengthen the government force by adding thousands of troops.

Meanwhile, President Duterte insisted that the campaign against illegal drugs would continue despite the International Criminal Court’s decision (ICC) to conduct a preliminary examination.

“It will not stop the war against drugs. ICC or no ICC, it will proceed and it would last until the day — of the last day of my term,” the Chief Executive said.

He underscored that discontinuing the war on illegal drugs would “compromise” the future generation.

“So dito sa panahon natin, tapusin na lang natin ‘to. (Let’s finish this within my term.) So I have three more years plus. And maybe at the end of my term, we would have — not really get rid of everything because that’s impossible but bring it to the barest minimum,” he said.

The President reiterated that he has no plan to perpetuate himself in power and his only ambition is to serve his country with utmost dignity and pride.

“Wala man akong ambisyon except to serve my country, make it a good place for all of us, comfortable, and when my time comes, I will go. No problem. No ambition to stay any bit longer,” he said.

Prior to his speech, the Chief Executive showed his shooting skills as he fired several rounds at the newly opened firing range.

The indoor firing range is the second Armscor branch to be established in Davao City. Back in 2006, then-Mayor Duterte attended the opening of its first branch.

Also present during the event were Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Demetrio Tuason and Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. PND