CAGAYAN DE ORO — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Sunday, April 2, expressed his determination to carry out his mission to restore peace and order in the country amid chronic problems of illegal drugs and insurgency in Mindanao.
Duterte issued his statement as he visited at least 10 soldiers who are confined at the Camp Edilberto Evangelista Station Hospital after sustaining injuries in recent encounters with the New People’s Army (NPA).
The President spoke with the wounded soldiers and provided them with financial assistance. He also awarded each soldier with medals.
The injured soldiers are identified as Private First Class Windyl Daayata, Private First Class Peter Ladera, Private Jeffrey Mallorca, Corporal Mhody Ramayrat, Sergeant Ramie Valle, Private Alfie Jauculan, Private First Class Romer Quidit, Private First Class Romeo Sajor, and Corporal Michael Maagad.
Speaking to the media after the visit, the Chief Executive underscored his desire in ending the 50-year-old war between government and the communist group.
“This fight has been going on for the past 50 years. I hate it,” he said adding that he has laid down conditions as the government peace panel and the National Democratic Front (NDF) have agreed to resume stalled negotiations in The Netherlands from April 2-6.
“As a matter of fact, kapag may namatay diyan na NPA, sundalo, o CAFGU, dumudugo ang puso ko kasi puro tayo Pilipino (As a matter of fact, when someone from the NPA, army, or CAFGU dies, my heart bleeds because we are all Filipinos),” he added.
Duterte said there must be a signed document “establishing the parameters of the peace talks” and there should be a ceasefire agreement to be witnessed by the Royal Norwegian Government, which acts as third party facilitator in the peace talks.
He added that the Reds should stop extortion and collection of revolutionary tax and they should desist from claiming any piece of territory or land in the country. He also urged them to release all their prisoners including police, military and civilians.
The President likewise emphasized that he gets his inspiration on what he wants to do for the nation by reiterating his goal to have an illegal-drug free country, saying that he would have “doomed” the country and the next generation if he could not stop the problem on illegal drugs.
“In a nutshell, the long provision of the Constitution says only one thing that at the end of the day, I am solely responsible of keeping the Filipino nation protected and secure. I have to preserve the next generation,” Duterte explained. ###PND