Camp Hermenegildo Agaab, Malungon, Sarangani Province
July 5, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte congratulated the officers and members of the 1002nd Brigade, 10th Infantry Division (10ID) of the Philippine Army (PA) during his visit at Camp Agaab in Malungon, Sarangani province.

Upon his arrival, the Commander-in-Chief viewed a static display of the recovered high-powered firearms from the PA’s operations against communists and terrorists.

He also awarded the military merit medal to five (5) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) soldiers, namely, 2Lt. Ronald Velasco, 2Lt. Dennis C. Cortejo, 2Lt. Orestes Fausto, Cpl. Edsan Pedroso, and PFC Vincent Mananzan. The gold cross medal was also awarded to SSg. Loujie A. Basa for gallantry in action during the military’s operations against the lawless armed groups.

In his message, President Duterte lauded the government troops for their hard work in liberating Marawi City. He also reminded them “in so many words, but in long or short, our oath of office is to protect and defend the Filipino nation.” He also acknowledged the role of the local government units (LGUs) in the administration’s campaign against terrorism and promised to support them.

“I would like to give my salute to the men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP na nandoon sa Marawi at namatay. If there is anybody in this crowd, dito sa Pilipinas ngayon, kung may tao man na nasaktan… I feel very, very, sad every time I read the briefer. Alam mo kung bakit, ako kasi ang nagdeclare ng Martial Law. I was the one who ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to fight there,” President Duterte said.

He added that during his Presidency, the military is assured of getting brand new equipment to augment their operations and by next year, their salaries would be doubled. He also vowed to repay the military’s service to the nation through financial assistance that would benefit their immediate families.

“I will not forget this episode of my life that I have to work with you closely, talk to you, encourage you, but most of all, to protect you and to assure you… that we will not forget your families kung sakaling wala na tayo dito. It will be a trust fund to be administered by the Central Bank, para wala talagang kakawkaw na mga kamay, and it will be solely for the education ng mga anak ninyo,” he said.

“Bilib ako sa sundalo kong Pilipino,” the President ended.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, and Sarangani Governor Steve Solon accompanied the President during the visit.

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