President Rodrigo Duterte spoke to soldiers of Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) in Zamboanga City this Thursday, July 21. In his speech, the president boosted the morale of the soldiers and promised to help them as long as they commit themselves to their duty. Watch President Duterte’s inspiring speech on the video below.
At the start of his speech, President Duterte reiterated the country’s problems on terrorism and illegal drugs, noting the cooking shabu inside the prison has been shaming the Filipinos. Nevertheless, he emphasized that over 80,000 drug suspects have already surrendered. Later, he vowed to support the financial needs of the soldiers doing their job.
“Hindi ko kayo pababayaan…I will look for money. At kayo, pagka nagka-problema, alam mo na iyong the imponderables of life iyong hindi ko nakita—asawa, kapatid may cancer—huwag na kayong pumunta ng malayo. Just go to your commanding officer and he will call me. And I will look for ways to help you.” President Duterte told the soldiers.
“Huwag na kayong pumasok diyan sa kung ano-ano pa. Kapag medyo mabigat—alam mo marami iyan ah—patay, tuition, or whatever, cancer. Paalaminin mo lang ako.” The 71-year old tough-talking president added, noting that he will also provide legal support to them and will take sole responsibility of their actions if they will be charged in the line of duty.
“Do your duty not for me but for the love of your country.” President Duterte arrived at Wesmincom at around 4pm and left for a flight to Davao City at around 7 pm. Aside from his speaking engagement, he had a 2-hour close door meeting with some AFP and PNP officials in the area. The president also visited some wounded soldiers at local hospitals.
Earlier that day, President Duterte visited the 104th Brigade of the Philippine Army in Isabela City, Basilan. There, he met with Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujiv Hataman and other local government officials, along with military and police officials. Along with him include Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya.