President Rodrigo Roa Duterte promised on Friday for an impartial investigation on the Jolo incident that left four Army soldiers dead assuring justice for the slain military men.
“Pumunta ako dito hihingi ako ng tulong ninyo. I am pleading. Nakikiusap ako. Nihangyo ko ninyo na tabangan ko ninyo pagpakalma (to help me calm), to keep the waters in the meantime calm and we wait for the result of the investigation,” the President said in a speech at Edwin Andrews Airbase in Zamboanga City.
“I am giving you my word of honor that the investigation will proceed to find out the truth unfettered, unbridled by anybody except ‘yung sa trabaho. Walang makialam at ‘yung totoo lang. Iyon ang maasahan ninyo. At kung sino man ang may kasalanan, then he has to pay for it.”
“What I’m saying is we’re trying to figure out how we can in the meantime do something to give you the assurance that justice will be done. So I’m giving it to you, I said, as a word of honor of a President na I will find out the truth from the investigators and I hope that it would satisfy all,” he added.
The President appealed for calm and understanding telling the members of the military to do away with their hatred, stressing that harboring ill will will distract them from focusing on the real enemy—the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
The police and the military should complement each other by working shoulder-to-shoulder in defeating the enemies of the state, he said.
President Duterte said that like the members of the Armed forces, he too, was saddened by the incident.
Ensuring the welfare of the police and the military has always been his top priority since assuming office, he stressed.
For instance, the President said that he lobbied for the adjustment in the salaries of soldiers and policemen, worked for the modernization of their weapons and equipment and ensured that are given the best medical care.
The four Army intelligence personnel, who were killed June 29, were reportedly on a mission to apprehend alleged Islamist militants.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) initially said that the incident was a “misencounter.” It later clarified that it was a “shooting incident.”
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the agency doing the investigation, received an order from the President to fast track its probe. PND