Camp General Servillano Aquino, Tarlac City
December 11, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed his concerns over the situation in Mindanao during his speech before the troops of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at Camp General Servillano Aquino in Tarlac City.

“Until now, Mindanao remains to be a lawless island.  Bakbakan sila ngayon… And we continue to suffer losses, lives of course… And wounded,” he said.

In his speech, the President admitted that he wants to visit Mindanao again but he is set to embark on a visit to Cambodia and Singapore in the coming week.

“Our foreign policy natin is to get to know the ASEAN countries.  It would maybe someday work for our benefits because we have cohesiveness. At magkaisa tayo dito,” he explained.

The Commander-in-Chief expressed his grave concern over the unending skirmishes of the military with the New People’s Army.

“We have to somehow end this war.  We have been going on for 45 years.  Do you need to say another 45 years?  I have to end somehow this generation… Mas lalo na’t ang kalaban natin ay Filipino rin,” he said.

He added that if terrorist groups will be driven out from the Middle East, they might go to Indonesia, Malaysia and Mindanao.  According to him, since not all Filipinos are sympathetic to the government, the danger is that they might join these terrorist groups.

President Duterte likewise expressed his satisfaction to the military troops on their performance and vowed to support them on their mandated duties.

“Back up kayo ng Commander-in-Chief ninyo.  Basta sa trabaho, akin ‘yan.  Basta ang military, police, may ginawa in performance of duty sa trabaho ninyo, eventually akin ‘yan. It’s me that will have to assume full responsibility.  That is how I guarantee you.  Basta magtrabaho lang kayo,” he told  them.

Before leaving, President Duterte wished them a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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