Camp Guillermo Nakar, Lucena City, Quezon
July 28, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talked to the men of the Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) after the situation briefing he attended earlier at Camp Guillermo Nakar in Lucena City, Quezon.

In his keynote address, the President expressed his gratitude to the service that the military has extended, and shared that his recent meeting with United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry resulted to the U.S. government’s US$32 million pledge which will eventually lead to the acquisition of ideal combat equipment for the country’s uniformed men.

He also restated his government’s thrust to seek peace for the country, especially in dealing with the communist and Muslim insurgency. “…As President and Commander-in-Chief, I have to think of the Republic of the Philippines and the whole of the people in this country. Hindi pwede na estudyante pa ako, pati hanggang ngayon nagpapatayan,” President Duterte said.

On reports about the four Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU) personnel (one dead and three injured) ambushed by the communist rebels, the President said that he just phoned the left and gave them until tonight to affirm their participation in the truce with the government. “I am demanding an explanation from the Communist Party of the Philippines,” he said.

With his warning to the communists, President Duterte also said that men and women in the service would also be put under disciplinary action should they have anything to do with the abovementioned incident.

At the same time, the Commander-in-Chief reassured the military that he will protect them and will answer for the things that he ordered them to do, saying, “Basta magtrabaho lang kayo, in accordance with your mandate, wala kayong problema…Forget about the problem because I will answer for you.”