MANILA, Philippines — For the first time since his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte made his public appearance to visit Jolo, Sulu.
Specifically, the President visited the sites of the twin explosions that occurred on August 24 which killed a number of soldiers.
He delivered a short speech before the troops at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters where he vowed to give his full support to the military in fighting and eradicating terrorists activities in Mindanao.
“Bilang isang Pilipino ibibigay ko sa inyo ang lahat ng suporta na kailangan ninyo para matupad ang inyong misyon dito sa Jolo (As a Filipino, I will give you all the support you need to accomplish your mission here in Jolo),” he said.
“I commit myself to working with you my dear troops to ensure that these terrorists will have no future in this country,” he added.
During the ceremony, the President commended the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace and order in the province.
President Duterte said that he regrets the situation in Mindanao and added that if not for the atrocities in the region, it could have attained the progress that the province has been aspiring for decades.
“For decades, Mindanao’s progress has been hindered by the threat of insurgency and extremism,” the President said.
“Kung wala lang sana itong seed of hatred na nakalagay sa isip from generation to generation, sana ngayon maganda na ang buhay para sa lahat, (If only the seeds of hatred had not been planted in the minds of people from generation to generation, quality of life [in the region]would have improved for everyone by now),” he added.
The President appeals to all government forces to continue the fight against terrorism and work hard to achieve long lasting peace in the country.
“If we cannot really agree, then we fight and we fight hard hanggang magkaubusan na (until no one is left). Maybe by that time, kung ubos na ang lahat, wala ng giyera (when everyone is gone, the war would finally end)” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie COZ)
Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.
Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.
The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.
The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.
Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect
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