DAVAO CITY – President 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.
“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.
“Today, Iraq had two, in a market place and in an ice cream parlor. They lose people by the hundreds everyday. We cannot allow it to happen here. We will have to die fighting them,” he stressed.
The President also assured that 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.
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.
Meanwhile, 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.
“So I give my salute, my respects to the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the National Police, my salute and my deepest respect. And I grieve with the families, those who have lost their lives,” the Chief Executive said.
He added that the military in Mindanao runs supreme because the police and the law enforcement agencies of the country is called upon to help restore order in the nation.
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. (PND)