In order to boost the morale of his soldiers, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday (November 23) vowed to acquire for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) the best equipment needed to fight any forms of rebellion in the country.
The announcement was made during his visit at the Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija where he conferred several Order of Lapu Lapu medals to soldiers who just came back from their mission to take back the besieged city of Marawi from the hands of the terrorists.
Three types of medals were given during the said event: the Kamagi Medal, the Rank of Kampilan, and the Gold Cross. A total of 24 soldiers received medals as recognition for their valor and bravery following the Marawi debacle.
The Order of Lapu Lapu is given to persons who render invaluable or extraordinary services given to the government. It was made possible through Duterte’s Executive Order No. 17 signed in April 2017.
For his promise to his soldiers, Duterte announced that it would be two-fold and that it would materialize during his regime. First is security for the future of the soldiers’ family and second is the acquisition of the best armors to be used for battles.
For the first promise, Duterte told the soldiers that he is planning to convert the idle military lands such as the one in Camp Aguinaldo into a commercial space where the soldiers could “lease” and make profit out of it.
“You can make profit out of it by leasing it to potential leasers. And you will not have problem anymore of at least, the financial side of your being soldier. I will make you first comfortable and your family so that in case of any untoward incident that may happen to you, your family is ensured.”
According to the President, through this conversion of commercial spaces, the troops will now have a monthly income through the money they will get from the lease. As such, they will no longer have any problem regarding their expenses which include where to get money in sending their children to school.
The Chief Executive also mentioned that the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) would soon have an independent financial body whose task is to manage the money of the two groups.
For his second promise, Duterte vowed to equip the troops with the best armors and will no longer acquire any secondhand equipment.
“I’m buying all the available equipment that are needed to fight the rebellion. Whatever you need, just tell me, and I will buy and give it to you. I have the money. I have reserved a certain portion of our income dedicated to the purchase of a new generation of firearms.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive also extended his condolences to the fallen soldiers who fought for the the liberation of the Islamic City from the terror of the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
“I mourn and extend my condolence to our fallen soldiers and I thank them for sacrificing their life for this country.”
Duterte announced the liberation of Marawi City on October 17, 2017 after government troops killed terror leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. The Maute group reigned terror in the whole of Marawi for nearly five months.
[Featured Image by Jes Aznar/Getty Images]