Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, Sulu
December 1, 2017

“I know that the Filipino soldiers fought valiantly… we prevailed,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte after he awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Kamagi and Kampilan) medals to several soldiers who took part in the liberation of Marawi City in a visit at Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, Sulu.

In his speech, the President thanked the soldiers for their continued sacrifice, the hardships they went through, and mourned the casualties the Philippines has suffered.

President Duterte also expressed his displeasure on how another armed conflict with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – New People’s Army (NPA) seem imminent after their attacks became more brazen and destructive.

“It saddens me to just even think that another strife is coming ‘cause I really don’t want to kill Filipinos.”

The President continued by outlining the failed peace talks with the communist group in the past administrations, noting, “Almost 50 years of talking, and for nothing.”

The Commander-in-Chief spoke on how much effort and leeway he gave the communist group such as freeing their leaders to start peace negotiations and how he lamented giving them “too much, too soon.”

President Duterte encouraged government forces to continue the fight against criminality, especially against terrorism, illegal drugs and human trafficking.

All-out support for government troops was also a highlight of the President’s speech as he discussed the increase in wages of soldiers and military officers, the continued modernization and development of the Philippine military arsenal, and his willingness to extend a hand to soldiers who are in need of help.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, Philippine Army (PA) Commanding General Lieutenant General Rolando Bautista, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, and other high-ranking military officers accompanied the President in the visit.

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