12 June 2017

Message of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Celebrating the 119th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence


Mensahe ng Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte sa Pagdiriwang ng Ika-119 Anibersaryo ng Araw Ng Kalayaan ng Pilipinas

President Duterte honors soldiers killed in Marawi siege
President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, June 11, led the arrival honors at the Villamor Air Base for the eight soldiers killed in hours-long gunbattle between government forces and Maute militants in Marawi last Friday.

President Duterte arrived at the Air Base grandstand around 7:50 p.m. where he personally condoled with the families of the slain soldiers.

The bodies of the slain Marines were flown to Manila from Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday afternoon.

Upon the arrival of the President, the metal caskets covered with the Philippine flag, were carried by soldiers out of the C-130 plane and were placed on high-lift ramps in front of the grandstand.

The slain soldiers were accorded arrival honors. The President then approached each family member to express his sympathies and condolences.

The eight Marines who were honored were First Lieutenant Raymond M. Abad, First Lieutenant John Frederick S. Savellano, Staff Sergeant. Joven Q. Triston, Sergeant Simeon I. Plares, Corporal Rolan H. Sumagpang, Private First Class Marvin Russel D. Gomez, Private Bernie Jhon B. Lunas, and Private First Class Gener C. Tinangag.

The President extended financial assistance to the families of the fallen soldiers.

Duterte then proceeded to the Marines headquarters in Fort Bonifacio to visit the wake of another two soldiers who were also killed in action in Marawi.

The two were Corporal Romula Garcia and Private First Class Eddie Cardona Jr. whose remains lie in state at the Acero Hall inside the Philippine Marine Headquaters.

The President’s last stop was at the Libingan ng mga Bayani where he paid his last respects to Corporal Reymond Paracuelles, who was killed on June 9 during a firefight with members of Maute group. ###PND

President Duterte on Marawi Siege: We will not lose this war
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, June 11, expressed confidence that the Philippine Government will emerge victorious in the ongoing siege in Marawi City.

President Duterte issued the statement during his visit to the 4th Infantry Division of the Army at Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City, where he honored the wounded soldiers who have fought in the beleaguered city.

“Sa gobyerno tayo, hindi tayo matalo. Not in a million years na matumba tayo,” Duterte said in his speech pledging full support for the military in crushing the extremist groups who have been wreaking havoc in Lanao del Sur.

Duterte stressed that it is “impossible” for the military to lose in Marawi citing the bravery and determination of the Armed Forces in fighting the local terrorist groups.

As a reward for their gallantry, the President promised to give them .45 caliber pistols, which he said they could use when they return to the battlefield.

“Pagbalik ninyo, doblado na ang gamit, ubos ang kalaban. Kaya natin ‘to,” he said.

The Chief Executive personally pinned the Wounded Personnel Medal on each of the 84 soldiers who were brought to Camp Evangelista station hospital for treatment.

He likewise gave financial assistance to the wounded soldiers and reiterated his plan to set up a P50-billion trust fund for the education of their children.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the wounded soldiers, President Duterte explained that he had to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao in order to easily contain the situation in Marawi and avoid a spillover of hostilities in other parts of the country.

“Ang problema nito ‘yung spillover. That is why we have to declare martial law in entire island of Mindanao because they can run everywhere and anywhere, and they can always find sanctuary and solace kasi distributed tayong lahat,” he said.

He insisted that the siege was not fueled by religion but by illegal drugs trade.

“I have ordered the military and the police to strike hard against the drug people kasi kasama na sila sa rebellion. Ang rebellion was financed by drug money,” he said.

“It has nothing to do with religion. I refused to believe that it is religion that fueled this war. It never has been and it is not now,” he added.

Duterte lamented that putting Mindanao under martial law was “not a good thing” adding that waging war against his own people pained him.

“I do not want to fight. I simply cannot wage a war against my own people. I pray that there will be a short period of war activity and we expect it to be over soon,” he said.

He also committed to help the Maranao to get back on their feet especially the underprivileged ones who have lost their homes and livelihood. ### PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the high noon salute to the heroes and innocent victims lost in Marawi
Today as the nation observes Independence Day we will pay homage to the fallen soldiers of Marawi.

The names of our brave soldiers who died fighting in Marawi City will be flashed on TV and read over the radio, with the sound of taps, at twelve noon as a tribute to their heroism for making the ultimate sacrifice for the flag and the country we dearly love.

We would likewise remember all the innocent victims who perished as a result of rebel atrocities committed.

We enjoin the public to honor these heroes and civilians and pray for them and the families they left behind.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On PRRD statement that he did not ask for US assistance
The President has already made clear in his media interview in Cagayan de Oro that as the Commander-in-Chief he allowed the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to decide on matters pertaining to martial law.

General Order No 1, dated May 23, which implements the proclamation of martial law in the whole of Mindanao designated the Secretary of National Defense as the Martial Law Administrator and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as the Martial Law Implementor. They can undertake all measures to prevent and suppress all acts of rebellion and lawless violence, including seeking technical assistance from the United States, within the limits prescribed by the Constitution.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On martial law’s impact on tourism
We understand the concern of foreign tourists. Safety is on top of their minds.

As you would recall, travel advisories from different embassies have been issued after martial law was declared in the whole island of Mindanao. It is therefore expected that there are some tourists who opted to rebook to other destinations.

We remain optimistic that things would bounce back once the peace, order and normalcy have been restored in Marawi.

President Duterte asks Filipinos to be responsible as country marks 119th Independence Day

President Rodrigo Duterte joined the nation on Monday, June 12, in celebrating the country’s 119th anniversary of its independence calling on Filipinos to become responsible citizens.

“I join the entire Filipino nation in celebrating the 119th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence,” President Duterte said in a statement.

The President paid tribute to thousands of Filipinos who perished fighting for freedom more than a century ago, which he described as “long and arduous”.

He said the country’s long journey to freedom was achieved through the Filipinos’ blood, sweat and the ultimate act of selfless sacrifice.

“Despite the insurmountable hardships, the patriotism and undaunted spirit of the Filipino led to our triumph against the shackles of slavery and abuse,” he said.

“On that day, we showed our colonizers and the rest of the world what Filipinos are made of,” he added.

In celebrating the 119th anniversary of Philippine independence carrying this year’s theme “Kalayaan 2017:Pababagong Sama-samang Balikatin”, the Chief Executive encouraged Filipinos to take inspiration from the country’s forebears “who valiantly fought and offered their lives so that we may have the liberties that we enjoy today.”

“Let us pay homage to their heroism by preserving our sovereignty and performing our own civic rights and responsibilities,” he said.

“After all, it is our inherent duty as citizens to ensure that the Philippines fulfills its destiny as a great and prosperous nation,” he ended.

Simultaneous activities were conducted in various provinces in the country to commemorate the nation’s Independence Day.

Flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies were held at Rizal Park attended by Vice President Leni Robredo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and other government officials.
### PND