August 29, 2016
In line with the commemoration of the National Heroes Day this year, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte hosted a dinner in Malacañang in honor of Filipino soldiers considered to be the new modern-day heroes of the country.
Sixty-four soldiers were invited to share a banquet with the President himself. These selected soldiers were wounded-in-action while performing their duties against groups such as the Abu Sayyaf and the New People’s Army (NPA) in Western and Central Mindanao.
In his speech, President Duterte assured them of his full support, saying that under his presidency, the welfare of all soldiers will be taken care off. He reported about the release of PhP 4.6 billion pesos for the widows and retired soldiers. Likewise, financial support will continue on for the wounded soldiers, saying that aside from the salary increase, promotions are also in the works.
“Do not be too sentimental about it because there is life after being wounded,” said the President, encouraging every soldier to go the extra mile and start rebuilding their lives not just for themselves but for the betterment of the nation.
“Binigay iyan ng Diyos sa iyo, it is really… it is only God that can answer it. But I am sure, andito kami, hindi ka namin pababayaan,” he added.
President Duterte promised to come up with programs for soldiers in case they cannot go back in the battlefield, vowing to make their lives more meaningful and productive as they undergo rehabilitation from the battle damages they have experienced.
“I was always there when they needed me. And for as long as God will give me the productive years of my life at 71, I will be at the Presidency to protect you,” President Duterte ended.
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