Camp Leono, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat
June 7, 2017

As part of government’s aim to boost the morale of the troops in the battlefront between the Maute group and the government forces, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte continued his visit to the different military camps in Mindanao.

On June 7, 2017, the Commander-in-Chief talked to the troops of the 1st Mechanized Infantry (Maaasahan) Brigade (1MECH BDE) at Camp Leono in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

The 1MECH BDE had conducted different intensive operations prior to the President’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, such as operations related to the drug campaign and counter terrorism. As documented, there was an increase of rebel personalities carrying firearms who surrendered to the government as a result of the operations carried out by the 1MECH BDE in their areas of responsibility. As of June 2017, a total of 18 people surrendered, turned over their firearms, and pledged to be on the government’s side.

In return, the government would support the returnees by providing them with employment in the public sector, as well as livelihood programs and cash assistance through the local government unit.

President Duterte thanked the 1MECH BDE for its support and the maintenance of order since the Martial Law declaration in Mindanao. “I also commend the men and women of the 1st Mechanized Brigade for your commitment in enforcing Martial Law within the parameters set by the constitution. I thank you for your efficient handling of 858 operations, 12 of which led to encounters and 676 security checkpoints in various parts of Mindanao,” the President stressed.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año reminded his troops on the Martial Law implementation, saying, “We have been implementing Martial Law all over Mindanao since May 23 and in fact lahat yan ay ginagawa ng mga sundalo natin pati kapulisan na walang pag-abuso.”

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