President Rodrigo Roa Duterte leads the donning of ranks of the newly-promoted officers and enlisted personnel of the 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigades during his visit to Camp Datu Lipus Makapandong in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur on September 29, 2018. ALBERT ALCAIN/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

AGUSAN DEL SUR — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday, September 29, saluted the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for their hard work, bravery, and dedication in securing the country from threats.

“I would like to commend the men and women of the Eastern Command for a wonderful performance. You were able to dismantle one, two — maybe in the future. Maganda ang pinakita ninyo sa bayan and I give you my salute,” said President Duterte in his speech at the 401st Infantry Brigade here at Camp Datu Lipus Makapandong.

“Through your valiant and relentless efforts, you have neutralized, apprehended, and facilitated the surrenders of the regulars, Militia ng Bayan members, Sangay ng Partido Lokal members, and more than 500 underground mass organization members,” he added.

The Chief Executive likewise recognized the troops’ support and cooperation with his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs in the region, as well as the Martial Law in Mindanao.

“Your steadfast support in the campaign against illegal drugs has not only resulted in the confiscation of shabu worth over P11 million but also led to the neutralization of drug personalities, securing the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur,” said the President.

“To this day, your cooperation with concerned government agencies, especially in the implementation of Martial Law in Mindanao, has not only made our kababayans safer in these challenging times but also paved the way for the collective advancement of our communities,” he continued.

President Duterte then ensured the soldiers that they “are not alone in this fight” and he would support them as long as they perform their mandate following the law.

“If it is in the performance of your duty and you face charges, criminal and all, you need not worry. I will take the blame personally and I will protect you. And I would never, never allow you to go to jail,” he noted.

“Performing a duty for a nation is a noble job. I will not allow a single soldier to stay in prison even for one day. That is my promise to you,” he further said.

In the same event, President Duterte viewed about 131 recovered firearms.

Also, he facilitated the awarding of medals to soldiers, recognizing their exemplary service in the performance of their duty.

President Duterte Visits A Wounded Police

After his visit to the 401st Infantry Brigade, the President proceeded to the Philippine National Police-Police Regional Office (PNP-PRO) 13 hospital at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez, Libertad, Butuan City to visit a police officer who was wounded in an encounter.

Police Officer 1 (PO1) Retchell B. Golandrina sustained injuries when their camp at Barangay San Mateo, Butuan City was “harassed” by members of the New People’s Army on September 18, 2018.

The President personally checked on Golandrina’s condition, promising him full recovery assistance. “Basta tandaan mo, while I am President, hindi kita pababayaan,” said the President.

President Duterte awarded Golandrina the Order of Lapu-Lapu Rank of Kampilan which is granted to individuals for their extraordinary acts of service in advancing the advocacy of the President.

Golandrina was also given financial aid, a smartphone, and a gun certificate. ###PND

Balikbayan Media Center
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