President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday encouraged members of the Philippine Marine Corps to use their brand-new equipment and firearms to eliminate enemies of the state.
Duterte made this pronouncement after turning over military equipment and firearms to members of the PMC to enhance its capabilities and heading the awarding ceremony of the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the ranks of Kampilan and Kamagi to soldiers who actively participated in the liberation of Marawi City.
Among the equipment and firearms that were handed over include Barret Rifles, Glock Pistols, Rock Island .45 caliber pistols, .50 caliber sniper rifles, and 5W VHF hand-held radios and repeater systems.
“Binigyan ko naman kayo (I have given you new equipment and firearms). Use it to kill the enemies of the state. Ubusin ninyo, patayin ninyo ang mga p********** ‘yan (Finish them off, kill them all),” Duterte said in a speech in Taguig City.
“Patayin ninyo ang kalaban. ‘Pag nasa crosshair na, i-target mo ‘yung puso pati ulo. Kasi kayo talagang papatayin kayo ng mga walang-hiya na ‘yan. Mag-ambush pa (Kill the enemies. When they’re in the crosshair, target their heart and head. Because they’ll really kill you. They’ll ambush you),” he added.
Duterte lauded the 103 officers and 1,800 enlisted personnel who successfully regained the Mapandi, Banggolo, and Masiu bridges in Marawi and recovered more than PHP80 million worth of cash and checks.
He urged the marines to continue working with this administration not only in the promotion of peace and order but also in humanitarian and disaster response in times of natural and man-made disasters.
In turn, he assured them that the administration would continue to boost their morale, efficiency, and responsiveness through modernization, capacity building, and other meritorious initiatives.
According to Duterte, the government has been fast-tracking the acquisition of vessels, aircraft, trucks, drones and other equipment as part of the more than PHP283 billion worth of projects under the Second Horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program since 2018.
He expressed hope that by 2021, the marines would be better capacitated with the light armor systems upgrade, squad rocket launchers, and protection equipment to keep the country’s forces at par with their foreign counterparts.
Families will survive
Lamenting how it pained him to see how soldiers captured by terrorists were “treated like dogs in camps”, he urged them to reserve one bullet to take their own lives rather than remain captives.
“Kung na-corner ka na (When you get cornered)…” Duterte said, making the gesture shooting himself in the mouth.
He assured that should they be killed in action, he would see to it that their families would be taken good care of.
“I will see to it that your family will survive and I will see to it that your children will have a good education,” he added.
The President admitted that although he might not be able to restore marines who have lost their limbs and legs from injury to their “original state”, he would make it a point that they have their dignity intact.
“Titindig pa rin (You’ll still stand),” Duterte said.
He said the wives of marines who are injured or killed will also be given jobs.
In October 2017, Duterte announced the liberation of Marawi City after more than four months of battling Islamic State-inspired terrorists. Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao after the Islamic State-inspired Maute group laid siege in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on May 23, 2017.
Congress extended the initial 60-day martial rule thrice upon the President’s recommendation to help state forces quell the insurgency in Mindanao.
Martial law in Mindanao expired on Dec. 31, 2019.
Meanwhile, Duterte said he would give PHP50,000 to each member of the members of the Philippine Marine Corps, who are celebrating their birthdays this month.
“I’ll give you PHP50,000 each. Ito ibigay ko lang sa inyo para may madala kayo…birthday gift ko sa inyo (I’ll give this to you so you have something to take home….it’s my birthday gift to you),” Duterte said.
Duterte told them to give the cash gift to their families.
“I’ll send you the PHP50,000 by…the latest would be Wednesday,” he added. (PNA)