Duterte praises military for counter-insurgency operations, love for country

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday commended the military for its successful operations against the New People’s Army (NPA) and praised its members for their passion and love of country.

In his speech before the officers of the Philippine Army (PA) and Philippine Air Force (PAF), the President said he cultivated a bond with the military when he was Davao City mayor and facilitated for numerous occasions the release of soldiers and policemen captured by the rebels.

“I’m not trying to really pull my own chair but for all ‘yung naka — nung mga sundalo pati pulis na nabihag ng — except si ‘yung general — lahat ‘yan ako ang kumukuha pati si Bong (Senator Go). Kaya bilib ako. Saludo ako kung ginawa ninyo,” he said during the event held at Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang.

“I’m not paying you. I know that you are not mercenaries. You do not do it for money. You do it out of passion for the love of country because we are all Filipinos.”

The Army and Air Force officers recognized on Tuesday successfully conducted military operations in Northern Luzon and Mindanao.

The President has recently ordered the military and the police to neutralize the insurgents because of their continuous attacks on government forces.

Regular attacks by the rebels against the members of the military escorting social workers handing over cash grants and food packs to poor families in remote areas have drawn the ire of the President.

He even offered a bounty to anyone who could provide information for the capture and neutralization of top NPA commanders. PND