Mawab, Compostela Valley — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte attended the establishment of TienDa Para sa mga Bayani at Camp General Manuel T. Yan, Sr. in Mawab, Compostela Valley on Monday, January 22.
In his speech, President Duterte said the project, initiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA), aims to provide a safer and more accessible marketplace for the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“This started or this was precipitated by my anger. Na ‘yung mga sundalo everywhere, be it in Jolo, dito Mawab, Mati, everywhere, there’s a market day for the soldiers to eat, subsistence. Usually niyan, apat, tatlo. Ang problema pinapatay,” he said recalling previous ambuscades and attacks against men in uniform.
“Sabi ko kay Secretary (Delfin) Lorenzana, pati kay General (Eduardo) Año: This has to stop. Maghanap kayo ng paraan, concoct, invent or whatever. Bahala na kayo basta try to correct the aberration,” he added.
TienDA Para sa mga Bayani is a trading center set up inside the Army’s 10th Infantry Division where farmers and fisherfolks can sell their products directly to soldiers at an affordable price. Basic commodities such as rice, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and fish will be sold in the outlet.
The President reminded soldiers to be careful whenever they go out of their camps citing persistent threats from the communists.
Duterte stressed anew that the government would not return to the negotiating table with the communists until he sees sincerity and commitment for genuine peace talks from their leader Jose Maria “Joma” Sison.
“Let it not be said that I did not try during my time to make peace with everybody because that is the job of the President,” he said.
“Hindi ako ‘yung Presidente na patay-patay. Ako ‘yung presidente na gustong ayusin ang aking bayan na mapayapa sa panahon ko at ‘yun ang iiwan ko sa inyo,” he added.
He then encouraged the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to return to government fold assuring them of protection, financial assistance and livelihood.
The President, meanwhile, rejected proposals of term extension should the country shift to federal form of government.
“Ako sinasabi ko sa inyo ngayon, pag ako sumobra sa aking termino, isang araw lang, I am now asking the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP not to allow me or anybody else to mess up with the Constitution,” he said.
“Inyong trabaho ‘yan, to protect the Constitution, and to protect the people. Remember it as a solemn duty. Kaya ako ‘pag sumobra, gusto kong mag-diktador, barilin ninyo ako,” he added. PND