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President Duterte confers Order of Lapu-Lapu to wounded-in-action soldiers in CDO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes to a wounded soldier who is a recipient of the Order of Lapu-Lapu Medal during the President’s visit at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City on September 9, 2017. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on September 9, Saturday, visited the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital (CESH) and conferred medals to 76 military personnel recovering from injuries at Camp Evangelista Station Hospital (CESH) here.

The Commander-in-Chief presented medals of the Order of Lapu-Lapu to the men of the Armed Forces who sustained injuries in the government’s efforts to liberate Marawi City from the terrorist Maute group.

The President also gave each of the awardees a cellular phone, cash gift and brand new service firearms.

In his speech, President Duterte acknowledged the importance of the servicemen’s efforts and reiterated the administration’s commitment to improve their lives and increase their benefits due them for the service to the country.

“Try to be alive and fight for the country. Our duty here is to protect the people and to preserve itong Pilipinas natin. Medyo magulo pero kaya nagsakripisiyo kayo… Sa lahat ng Pilipino ngayon, ang pinaka-mahirap at pinaka-mabigat na nagbibigay na contribution sa bayan nila, kayo,” President Duterte said.

“Patapusin lang natin itong gulo dito. It will not stop until the last terrorist is taken out. ‘Yun ang sinabi ko sa bayan. ‘Yan ang ating dapat sundin,” he added.

The President assured that the troops would have everything that they need, including the education of their children through the P50 billion trust fund that he is currently raising for them.

“Wala kayong problema sa medisina, sa ospital, sa pamilya ninyo. Lahat ng nawalaan ng husband, lahat may trabaho. Lahat — biyuda, may trabaho ngayon. Automatic ‘yan. At ako na ang sumasagot sa edukasyon ng inyong pamilya,” he said.

“Gusto ko, kung maawa si Allah, mag-abot tayo ng 50 billion. ‘Yung 50 billion, para lang ‘yun sa edukasyon ng mga anak ninyo,” he added.

He also encouraged the soldiers to make use of their direct access to him.

“Kayo ba may lahat na cellphone? Ito ha. Kaya ko kayo binigyan ng cellphone isa’t-isa. Una, gusto ko na may access kayo sa Commander-in-Chief,” Duterte said.

“Tawag kayo. Gusto ko na makatawag kayo diretso sa akin. ‘Yan ang gusto ko ha. May chain of command tayo pero gusto ko na kayo mismo ang makatawag sa akin sa problema na hindi mo kaya, ng opisyal, ng Army, Air Force o Marines, dito kayo sa akin mag-diretso. Sosolbahin natin ‘yang problema ninyo,” he assured.

Meanwhile, in an interview following his speech to the WIA soldiers, Duterte said Maute terrorists will be given due process if they surrender to the government.

“We will try them, give them due process, provide them with a lawyer… there will be no oppression or harassment, or anything. No violence will be inflicted upon them if they surrender,” Duterte said.

“’Yan ang i-guarantee ko sa inyo. Pag mag-surrender sila, walang… ‘yung sabihin mo na bugbugin mo o you oppress o gutumin. Nothing of the sort. I will not also allow it. That is not the way how we treat people, especially even they’re criminals. They are not POWs to me. They’re simply criminals. Period,” he said.

In the same media interview, Duterte said he will be exposing bank accounts of Senator Antonio Trillanes.

“May mga account ‘yan na joint. Ang kasama niya, puro Chinese tapos paulit-ulit ‘yung pangalan. But it’s in Hong Kong, in Malaysia, then there’s in Australia, and meron rin sa United States,” Duterte said.

“He has been at it against me, my son, and my family since election. Tapos na ‘yung kampanya, and when I thought all the while na ganoon talaga pulitika. Pero ito, he is bent on destroying me. So I destroy him or he will destroy me. Ganun lang ‘yan eh,”he said. PCOO

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