Joint Task Force Marawi, 20 July 2017 – In an intimate manner without the usual formalities and festive atmosphere, President Rodrigo Duterte personally checked on our troops in the battle stricken Marawi City.
After numerous attempts in recent days, the Commander-in-Chief finally set foot in Marawi City on July 20, 2017 to personally assess the actual situation on the ground and provide inspiration to our troops.
“It is like a father checking on his sons and daughters who selflessly offer themselves to restore peace in Marawi City,” said Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi.
While the President delivered his message inside Camp Ranao to inspire our troops, exploding bombs, rockets, and gunfire are heard in the background. The President expressed his all-out support and gratitude to the troops who are at the forefront in the government’s campaign against rebellion.
“Fight for our country, I’ll fight for your rights. I urge you to continue to fight for your country and always remember that I will fight for your rights,” President Duterte said in his emotional message. He mentioned about how devastated he has been every night while reading the daily updates about our troops in Marawi.
The President emphasized that it is his intention to visit the troops while the fighting is still on-going, to make the soldiers and policemen feel that he is one with them and he is giving his full support to all of uniformed forces: “I grieve every time i learn that soldiers die everyday in Marawi.”
“I have to be here to visit you. Your life is not less important than mine. All of our lives are equally important. We are here to die for our country,” President Duterte said.
“I say a little prayer for those who have fallen. I grieve for all the deaths, both civilians and soldiers, especially that I was the one who made you come here,” President Duterte said.
Received by JTF Marawi Commander, Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, President Duterte was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Office of the Presidential Adviser for Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año and Army Chief Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda.