BGen. Benito N. Ebuen Airbase, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
June 4, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte raised the morale of the peacemakers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) by reinforcing his support for them in a speech before a boodle fight with the troops at the BGen. Benito N. Ebuen Airbase in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.

The President spoke about recent successes that government forces have made in combatting terrorism. He cited the successful elimination of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) threat in Bohol and the restraint that government forces are exercising in Marawi City to avoid civilian casualties and to minimize damages to properties.

Decisive actions as a necessity were discussed by President Duterte and said that terrorists, “…do not want to do anything in the world except to kill and destroy.”

He also explained how terrorists were linked to illegal drugs, saying, “They were funding the terrorism in Mindanao with shabu… Sobra-sobra ang supply ng shabu.”

The President emphasized, ”We will deal with you as we would like to deal with any terror.”

The Commander-in-Chief also discussed a conversation with Nur Misuari of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wherein they spoke about integrating able-bodied men of the MILF to the AFP to augment Philippines forces, thereby gaining allies and losing enemies at the same time.

He added that members of the New People’s Army (NPA) are offered the same and said that once they surrender their weapons, they will be given new ones to fight against a common enemy.

At the end of his speech, the President took a photo with the peacemakers, viewed a static display about the recent operations against the ASG in Bohol, and led the boodle fight with the troops. He was accompanied in the event by National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Lieutenant General Oscar Lactao, and Presidential Assistant for Visayas Undersecretary Michael Lloyd Dino.

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