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Duterte vows to give Rolex watches for units that get Medals of Valor

12:26 AM October 01, 2018
Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte salutes one of a newly promoted soldiers on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018/ (Photo from an RTVM video)

Published @ 1:46 a.m., Sept. 30, 2018 | Updated @ 12:26 a.m., Oct. 1, 2018

DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday night tried to further boost the morale of Army soldiers by promising them Rolex watches for future acts of valor after gifting their brigades P100,000 each.

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Speaking at a military camp in Prosperidad town, the President heaped praises on the 401st and 402nd Infantry Brigades for securing Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur provinces, respectively, from illegal drugs and communist rebels.

“I would like to commend men and women for the wonderful performance,” he told the troops at Camp Datu Lipus Makapandong.

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Buoyed by the accomplishment of the troops in the campaign against illegal drugs and communist insurgency, Mr. Duterte announced after his speech that he was giving P100,000 each to the two brigades.

P100,000 for blowout

“Here is P100,000 for your blowout when you go back to your camp,” he said.

“If all of you commit acts of valor, you will all get Rolex,” he added.

The President had already ended his speech but he decided to go back to the podium and speak to the troops again after talking with his special assistant, Christopher Go.

During the visit, the President led the donning of ranks of 20 newly promoted officers and the awarding of medals, amid military claim of an ouster plot against him.

He lauded the soldiers for the surrender of hundreds of rebels and their militias and some 500 members of underground organizations, which led to the recovery of hundreds of firearms and explosives, and the discovery of rebel camps.

He cited the troops’ steadfast support for the illegal drug campaign, saying this did not only lead to the seizure of illegal drugs worth P11 million but also to the “neutralization” of drug traffickers.

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Protection from charges

The President reiterated his promise of protection to soldiers who would face criminal charges in the performance of their duty.

“You need not worry, I will take the blame,” he said. “I will not allow a single soldier to stay in prison even for one day. So continue doing your part.”

The President also mentioned the implementation of martial law in Mindanao, which he said kept people safe but came at a price.

“In a move to rid society of evil, many have been wounded and lives have been lost. I share their grief,” he said.

The President will visit another military camp in Samar province next week.

Last week, he flew to Jolo, Sulu province, to visit wounded soldiers. He admitted there that he was hurt by reports of soldiers conniving with the opposition and the communist movement to topple him.

The opposition and the movement have denied his charges. /pdi /atm

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TAGS: 401st Infantry Brigade, 402nd Infantry Brigade, communist rebels, Rodrigo Duterte, war on drugs
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