President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recognized the heroism Sunday of soldiers who perished in Sulu bombings last week renewing government’s resolve to crush Islamist militants operating in the volatile region.
“To our troops, I stand in solidarity with you as we honor the memory of your comrades, my soldiers, who gave their lives in the name of peace here in Sulu,” President Duterte said in a speech in Jolo, Sulu, aired Monday morning.
“The recent bombings that took the lives of several civilians including those of your fellow soldiers will only further strengthen our resolve to crush the lawless elements behind this cowardly act.”
The August 24 incident is only one of the countless incidents that should remind everyone that terrorism should not be taken for granted, the President said, telling the members of the security forces to prioritize ensuring public safety.
It’s unfortunate, he said, that despite the current coronavirus pandemic, the enemies of the state remain a major threat and could cause such carnage.
The ongoing pandemic has put extra burden on the Armed Forces, yet in the spirit of selflessness, the soldiers remain strong in their mission for the Filipino people, according to the President.
“Because of this, I am humbled by your commitment, inspired by your patriotism and grateful for a continued support,” he told the soldiers.
“Now, more than ever, our nation needs our Armed Forces to ensure that these terrorists will never succeed in their pointless goals. By choosing to fight for your country here in Sulu, you honor the ultimate sacrifice of your fellow soldiers and the countless others who fought before you.”
The President also vowed to fully support the Armed Forces to accomplish its mission of eliminating Islamist militants operating in Sulu.
“I commit myself to work with you my dear troops to ensure that these terrorists will have no future in this country.”
At the same time, President Duterte asked the cooperation of Sulu’s local leaders to assist his government in finding peace in the region.
The bombings in Jolo, Sulu, believed to be carried out by female suicide bombers, left 17 people dead including some members of the military. The attack also injured more than 20 individuals.
The militants also launched similar attacks in Sulu last year, detonating bombs inside and outside the Jolo cathedral. The carnage left 22 people dead and more than 100 others injured. PND