4ID Gymnasium, Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Brgy. Patag, Cagayan de Oro City
August 9, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talked about quelling a rebellion through peaceful means while expressing his support when he met with the members of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) of the Philippine Army (PA) at Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Brgy. Patag in Cagayan de Oro City.

“Ang isang bayan, has to have isang fighting force. Mainly to protect the integrity of the country and establish order hand in hand with the police. The duty of a president, kagaya ko, is not really to wage war against our citizens, Filipinos.”

He added that it is difficult to approve of violence even when necessary, “It pains me really to do that… To bring in more bullets and bombs just to kill Filipinos. Pero alam mo, as much as I would like to be the shining armor of peace, there are things which we have to take care of. One is that there is a violent group—the CPP-NPA-NDF na gusto nilang kunin ang authority, not by election but by arms struggle.”

The President also said that he understands why groups such as the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) exist.

“Meron tayong sentimiento, pero it cannot translate into violence. Sa akin dito eh gusto ko lang makausap sila and if there is still a chance for us to have peace.” President Duterte urged to the rebel groups.

He also talked about the use of landmines by the NPA and reiterated his ultimatum about the use of this kind of explosives, saying that peace talks would be jeopardized and adding that he is confident at the position of the country against rebel groups, saying; “we are not on the losing end…”

President Duterte discussed recent efforts to provide the Philippine Army (PA) with new medical equipment, infrastructures and talked to National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana about retrofitting airplanes assigned to the President to be adapted into air ambulances.

After finishing his speech, the President also awarded the Gold Cross Medal to eight soldiers who were part of a government force that fought against an estimated 80 rebels from the New People’s Army (NPA) at Sitio Kambangon, Brgy. Lilingayon, Valencia City in Bukidnon on August 5, 2016.

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