Jolo, Sulu
July 13, 2020

“To our brave soldiers who are with us today, I personally came here to thank you, in behalf of the Filipino people for your undying service, specially during these trying times,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte when he talked to the uniformed officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 11th Infantry Division (11ID) held at the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters (KHTBH) in Jolo, Sulu.

In his speech, the President spoke of the incident that occurred weeks ago involving some members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the death of four (4) soldiers.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I grieve for our fallen men. I convey my deepest condolence to you for the death of your comrades,” President Duterte continued, adding that he already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe on the matter.

He expressed his hopes that the “isolated incident” will not spark animosity between the AFP and the PNP, and guaranteed that justice will be served to the families and the troops in Jolo.

Further, the Commander-in-Chief cited that as tension escalates between the military and terrorist groups amid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, he assured the Armed Forces that the government will continue to implement programs and polices to secure their future.

“…You have my utmost respect as you risk your lives in the name of peace, security and development efforts in our region… Let me assure you that as you fight to protect our nation, your needs and those of your families will be taken care of,” he said.

During the event, President Duterte witnessed the ceremonial distribution of food packs led by 11ID Commander Major General Corleto Vinluan, Jr. and assisted by 11ID Chief-of-Staff Colonel Giovanni Franza.

The Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of ‘Kampilan’ was also awarded to two (2) soldiers who have been wounded in the course of their duties.

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