Duterte: “I will not allow a single soldier to stay in prison even for one day”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 September) — Assuring the military of his support, President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday vowed anew that he will “not allow a single soldier to stay in prison even for one day.”

The President said  he will take the blame personally if they face charges in performing their duties.

“As long as you perform your mandate in accordance with law, this administration will remain steadfast in supporting your organization and provide you with the necessary tools and resources that enable you to effectively fulfill — as defenders of the nation,” Duterte told the troops of the 401st Infantry Brigade in Camp Lipus Makapandong in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on Saturday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with troops of the 401st Infantry Brigade and officials during the President’s visit to Camp Datu Lipus Makapandong in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on September 29, 2018. Albert Alcain PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

He commended the troops for their efforts to crackdown on illegal drugs and for keeping law and order in Mindanao but expressed his remorse that many were injured or killed just to attain these accomplishments.

“These accomplishments, however, came at a price. In our bold — to be rid of society with evil forces, many have been wounded and lives have been lost. I share my grief with you,”

Duterte said there’s still much work to do to rid the country of persisting ills, even as government forces have done a lot since he won the presidency in 2016,

He said his administration’s anti-illegal drugs campaign seized shabu worth over P11 million and had resulted in the “neutralization” of drug personalities to secure Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur provinces.

The country’s chief executive also cited the military for cooperating with different government agencies in implementing martial law in Mindanao that, he claimed, made the people safer and paved the way for collective advancement of communities.

He also acknowledged the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in addressing the communist insurgencies in Mindanao, resulting in in recovery of hundreds of firearms and explosives, and the discovery of enemy encampments.

He said the military neutralized, apprehended and facilitated the surrenders of the regulars, Militia ng Bayan members, Sangay ng Partido Lokal members including more than 500 underground mass organization members.

“I, together with the Filipino people, are truly grateful for your gallantry of our wounded and fallen comrades and the courage of our troops to continue to make great sacrifices to defend our land, uphold peace and secure the freedom we now enjoy,” he said.

The President  said he wants the children to inherit a country that is stable, harmonious, and progressive.

“I therefore ask each of you to continue doing your part so that we may soon realize our aspiration for a lasting peace and stability across the nation,” he said.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)