San Miguel, Bulacan – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday received an Honorary Scout Ranger Badge from the First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR) in recognition of his “invaluable support” to the Philippine Army’s special operations command unit.
The badge was presented by FSRR commander Brigadier General Rene Glen Paje to the Commander-in-Chief, who arrived donning Scout Ranger uniform.
“For invaluable support extended to the First Scout Ranger Regiment, President Duterte on many occasions manifested great concern for the welfare of Scout Rangers and inspired its officers and men to their mission,” the citation read.
“As such, he is worthy of the respect and honor to be a member of the Scout Ranger family,” it added.
The President was honored during the 67th Founding Anniversary of the FSRR at Camp Tecson in San Miguel, Bulacan.
In his speech, Duterte enjoined the troops to continue to defend the country from various threats such as terrorism and extremism.
“Our people depend on the military and the government to give them the stable, orderly and prosperous nation that they desired for so long,” he said.
“So let us remain united as we continue to combat the persistent threats of terrorism, extremism and lawlessness. Let us stand firm and resolute as we work, hand in hand, for lasting peace and meaningful change in our country,” he added.
The President also explained the reason why he decided to terminate the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF).
“As it was shaping up during our talks, I already noticed the trend of the thoughts of the other side. And when I summed it all, reading from all previous working papers, it will sound like a coalition government,” he said.
“That is why I said in the previous days, I cannot give you what I do not own. And certainly, a coalition government with the Republic of the Philippines is pure nonsense,” he added.
The Chief Executive formally terminated negotiations with the communist rebels by issuing Proclamation 360 on Thursday.
Duterte likewise reiterated his resolve to suppress corruption in government saying that he is “hell-bent” on fulfilling his campaign promise.
“Graft is really something which has been pulling down us all these years… I do not promise you heaven but I have promised the people of the Philippines, a good life, a comfortable one, hanggang diyan lang ako,” he said.
On drug war campaign, the President said he was “toying” with the idea of returning the drug war operations to the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
“I have not yet signed the executive order. But I am inclined to call back the police and join again in the drug war,” he said.
During the event, the President awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu medals with ranks of Kamagi and Kampilan to several officials and members of FSRR including Brigadier General Paje.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu was established in 2017 and is conferred by the President in recognition of the exemplary service rendered by officials and personnel government, as well as private individuals, in significantly advancing a campaign or advocacy of the President, particularly acts of valor and kindness described as extraordinary acts of service and exceptional contributions to the country.
All the troop awardees were also given caliber .45 pistols as reward.
He also led the presentation of plaque of appreciation to private individuals who showed invaluable and meritorious support that contributed to the success of the Scout Rangers.
Before returning to Manila, the President joined the troops in a boodle fight to celebrate their anniversary. ###PND