Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City
November 21, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led a tribute, dubbed “Ang Huling Tikas Pahinga: Isang Pagpupugay sa mga Bayani ng Marawi,” commemorating the heroism of the fallen soldiers and police officers killed-in-action (KIA) at the height of the Marawi crisis in an exhibit at the Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.

In his message, the President reiterated the country’s need to install a strong police and military forces that would combat the resurgence of terrorist groups, adding that the two-fold salary increase, of which he foresaw before the Marawi crisis erupted, was the first and right step towards this goal.

Remembering the clash in Mapandi Bridge that killed 13 Marines on July 9, 2017, the President said he became teary-eyed upon learning of the incident.

“Naiiyak ako kasi ako ‘yung nagdeclare ng Martial Law and I sent the soldiers to the mouths of hell and some of them to die,” he said. Further adding that any criticisms hurled at Marawi and for him declaring Martial Law in Mindanao would always solicit negative reaction from him, pointing at himself for being sensitive and being passionate about the matter.

The President also points blame on the politicians in Marawi for allowing terrorism to thrive, of which he said they could never claim innocence for. Furthermore, the President said he would install a military camp in Marawi City as soon as the rehabilitation is completed.

In closing the President assured the soldiers and police officers that they would only receive brand new armaments and weaponry from the government that would make the Philippines best equipped to combat rebellion.

During the event, families of the slain soldiers and police officers killed-in-action joined in remembering the heroism of their loved ones, this include a speech, entitled: “Story of a Soldier’s life,” by Cpl. Rikko Ordeza, one of the fortunate soldiers who survived the Marawi conflict.

Complete with installation art featuring the Mapandi Bridge together with photos of the slain soldiers and police officers, the exhibit will run for two-weeks and will be open for public viewing.

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