Malungon, Sarangani — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, July 5, commended the military and the police for their sacrifices and hard work in putting an end to the month-long siege in Marawi City.
Speaking before the troops of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade, President Duterte said the skirmishes in Marawi is nearing its end.
“Sasabihin ko lang lalo sa mga pamilya nila, they did not die in vain kasi it’s winding up in Marawi,” Duterte said as he lamented the deaths of the soldiers and policemen in the Islamic city.
The Chief Executive again asked for understanding and forgiveness from the family of the slain soldiers but explained that he had to declare martial law in Marawi as the situation there had reached a “critical” level.
“I could sense that it was really critical as they were shooting people already and trying to remove part a territory of the Philippines from the effective control of government,” he said.
“So I had to do it. So, I am very sorry for those guys who died along the way. They have my eternal prayers and my honorable salute,” he further said.
Showing his relentless support for the troops, Duterte promised to provide them with new weapons and equipment, medical facilities, as well as education for the soldiers’ children.
“But I assure you, by the time I get out of the Presidency, I would have left something, a big amount, na para talaga sa inyo,” the President said, adding that a trust fund he promised them will be administered by the Central Bank to avoid corruption.
“Lahat talaga, kung gusto lang mag-aral, makakatapos. ‘Yan ang pangako ko sa inyo, before I leave the Presidency,” he added.
He also told the soldiers that he will provide each of them with a gun.
Duterte then expressed his gratitude to political leaders and local government units who supported the military operations in Marawi City.
“I would like to also express my support to the civilian government — Senator Pacquiao — they supported me, mga local government units mostly because alam nila ang danger,” he said.
The President also showed his appreciation to Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, who are former police and military officials, respectively. ###PND