Camp Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo, Sulu
April 9, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte paid tribute to the gallantry and willing sacrifices of the thousands of Filipinos who defended Bataan on April 9, 1942 during the 77th year of commemoration of the ‘Araw ng Kagitingan’ (Day of Valor) at the Camp Teodulfo Bautista in Jolo, Sulu.

While giving high praise to the people who defended the Philippines’ liberty and preserved its democratic way of life seven (7) decades ago, the Commander-in-Chief also acknowledged the unrelenting efforts of today’s troops against lawless elements that threaten the country.

“I am especially pleased with our military’s recent accomplishments against the Abu Sayyaf Group. Your efforts have brought us even closer to our ultimate objective of totally crushing the violent extremism at its roots. With this, I can confidently declare that ISIS will never gain foothold anywhere in the Philippines,” President Duterte stated.

He gave his assurance that the military personnel’s welfare and their dependents would be prioritized and given utmost importance during the latter years of his Presidency.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I salute you and give honor to the valiant soldiers who were injured or who gave their lives during the recent military operations here in Sulu. Let me assure you that you have — the government continues to prioritize your welfare and that of your families,” the President said.

“We are doing everything to ensure that our military personnel will be able to perform their mandate efficiently and to the best of their ability. We will therefore continue to implement the AFP Modernization Program even as we remain committed in looking after the welfare of our men and women in uniform,” he added.

President Duterte also urged the military troops to fight the modern threats that have long been hindering the Philippines from achieving growth and progress.

“And while we may no longer face the same enemy that the heroes of Bataan faced 77 years ago, we must nonetheless be as strong as they were able in facing overwhelming odds,” he exclaimed.

President Duterte emphasized that it is his job to give protection to the soldiers and to provide medical care to those who are truly in need of it.

“With that, I say again that ako bilib sa sundalong Pilipino at kaya ko ginagawa lahat para at least you can protect yourself and you will see through in this conflict of ours. Maraming salamat sa inyo and in behalf of the Filipino people, the entire population, maraming salamat sa kagitingan ninyo,” the President ended.

* * *