Thursday, June 1, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte to PH troops: 'We will die fighting!'

DAVAO CITYPresident Rodrigo Duterte graced the 119th Philippine Navy anniversary celebration on Wednesday, May 31, assuring his countrymen that the government will continue to fight those who sow terror in Mindanao.

“If you would allow me to join you, I’d be happy to lead you to the mouths of hell for after all, we have to die sometime,” he said during the celebration of the Philippine Navy’s 119th anniversary in Davao City Wednesday (May 31).

But even if he cannot physically join the soldiers in battle, Duterte said his administration is prioritizing the acquisition of equipment for the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police. “I will have my time. I have five years. I will acquire more jets, air assets and boats. And I will make the Philippine Armed Forces a little bit stronger by the time, InShaAllah, I go out as President,” he said.

He said that while police and military officials did not recommend the declaration of martial law to him, they gave him sufficient information to decide it was necessary. "They gave me sufficient information and I asked them, ‘Are we already in the critical level?’ And there was an almost unison and redundant even statements that "delikado tayo sa Mindanao" given the practice of the ISIS in the Middle East, just exploding everything in their hands," Duterte said

In the same speech, President Duterte underscored the contributions of the Philippine Navy for their "remarkable contributions in strengthening the foundation of our nation."

"Your efforts to fulfill your mandate to uphold peace and sovereignty in our territorial waters have been remarkable in the past years and today, you have once again reaffirmed your important role as you support the counterterrorism efforts against the Maute group in Marawi City," Duterte said.

"Your presence in Mindanao, along with the other members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, have made our kababayans feel more secure at this most delicate and challenging time," he added.

He said he remains confident that the Philippine Navy will be committed to their oath in safeguarding Philippine shores and shoals against all acts of terror and violence.

President Duterte said that he salutes and respects the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, especially those who have died fighting the terror group in Marawi.

After his speech, President Duterte toured the Philippine Navy’s new Landing Dock vessel, the Barko ng Pilipinas (BRP) Davao del Sur (LD602), one of the largest ships in the inventory of the PN with overall length of 123 meters, width of 21 meters, and payload capacity of more than 4,000.

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