President Duterte opens 2017 Palarong Pambansa, tells athletes to love and defend their country

(SAN JOSE BUENAVISTA, Antique) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday led the formal opening of the Palarong Pambansa 2017 underscoring the importance of building competitiveness, camaraderie and values among the youth.

In his speech, President Duterte said his administration is giving high priority to education to prepare the Filipino youth for the future noting that they will be the country’s nation builders.

“We are pouring money on the education sector. You have the biggest appropriation in the annual budget and for the rest of my term it will be because I’ve always believed na ang edukasyon would save us someday,” he told the crowd of young athletes from various provinces in the Philippines.

The President said through sports competition, the youth develops a sense of discipline necessary to become good and productive citizens of the country.

“So we are trying to build competitiveness, fairness, values, and the sense of goodwill sa inyong mga bata,” he said.

While insisting on the values that they must acquire, the President told the young athletes about the importance of loving their country and defending it.

Duterte advocates for the reimplementation of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program to teach the youth about military service.

The President stressed that no other people will defend the country from both external and internal threats except its own citizens.

He also reported about his strides to fight graft and corruption in government as well as the proliferation of illegal narcotics.

Duterte assured the people that under his leadership, he will not tolerate corruption and he will be tough in combating illegal drugs and criminality.

At the same time, the President also warned about the threats of Islamic extremism in Mindanao, which he said he would stamp out under his administration.###PND