President Rodrigo Duterte wants to visit military camps despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak to personally check the condition of soldiers, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
“Titignan niya (Duterte) ‘yung kundisyon ng ating mga kasundaluhan at ‘yung mga lugar kung nasaan naroroon ang mga kampo (He wants to see the condition of the soldiers and the military camps),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.
In a televised public address on late Monday night, Duterte announced his plan to resume his visit to military camps nationwide.
Duterte, who used to visit military camps before the Covid-19 pandemic grappled the country, ensured that he would take extra precautions when he once again meets with the troops.
Roque said Duterte’s possible activities in military camps would be “limited and focused.”
“Sinabi naman niya (Duterte) na pikang-pika na siya na nakakulong siya. Gusto na rin niyang malaman ang iba’t ibang kondisyon ng mga iba’t ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas (He already expressed exasperation over being stuck indoors. He wants to also know the condition in different areas in the Philippines),” he said.
The Philippine Navy announced last week that Duterte was invited to attend the christening and commissioning of BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile-frigate.
The christening and commissioning ceremony was originally scheduled on the national hero’s birthday on June 19 but was moved to a later date.
Roque clarified that the Presidential Security Group (PSG) still needs to give its approval before Duterte can visit any military camps in the country.
“Wala pa po. Nakikipagtawaran muna sa PSG para siya ay payagan (There’s no schedule yet. He has yet to negotiate with the PSG so he can be allowed to visit military camps),” he said.
Duterte decided to stay in Malacañan Palace in Manila when he placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine in March this year.
He was supposed to return to Davao City on April 7 to join his family in celebrating the 16th birthday of his youngest child, Veronica, on April 10, but opted to isolate himself in Manila to monitor the government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
Duterte returned to Davao City on May 16 after the quarantine restrictions were eased. He also flew back to his home province on May 30 to be with his family. (PNA)