Edwin Andrews Air Base, Zamboanga City
July 3, 2020

“It was a waste of lives actually, but ever since ‘yong araw na ‘yon, I’m totoo, I was really very sad. Kasi mahal ko ang sundalo ko,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte when he talked to the uniformed officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) based at the Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB) in Zamboanga City.

In his speech, the Commander-in-Chief talked about the recent incident in Jolo, Sulu that involved some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and took the lives of four (4) Philippine Army soldiers. He said that he already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe on the matter.

“…Mag-neutral na lang ako sa salita ko, but I have my own misgivings about the whole thing. But pending the release or pending the invitation of the NBI, we all must just keep our silence and hope that the NBI would find the truth for us,” the President said.

President Duterte added that the incident has generated “animosity” between the PNP and AFP, and that he came to face the troops in order to make a plea to “make the waters calm”.

“What I’m saying is we’re trying to figure out how we can, in the meantime, do something to give you the assurance that justice will be done. I’m giving it to you, I said as a word of honor of a President. I will find out the truth from the investigators,” he stressed.

“At gusto ko ‘yong may kasalanan, will have to face the consequences,” he continued.

During the event, President Duterte also witnessed the ceremonial distribution of food packs led by AFP Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) Commander Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana.

* * *