Killing of 4 soldiers in Jolo: Duterte continues appeal for Army to calm down
ZAMBOANGA CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte reminded soldiers on Friday (July 3) that their main task is to protect the people days after four military intelligence agents on the trail of two suspected bombers were killed by policemen in Jolo, Sulu.
During his Talk to Troops, Duterte sought to calm the soldiers who were hurting from the June 29 killing of four Army intelligence agents by police in Jolo, Sulu.
“It was a waste of life actually, but ever since, that day I was really very sad because I love my soldiers,” said Duterte, speaking partly in Filipino.
But he asked the soldiers to let reason prevail over their emotions.
“Don’t let your anger get the better of you, forgetting that there is a more important task to do and that is to protect the people of the Philippines,” said the President.
“Let us not lose sight of that reality,” he added.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been looking into the killing after the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police (PNP) presented conflicting accounts of the fatal shooting of the soldiers after they were stopped at a police checkpoint.
Duterte said he has directed the NBI to “search for the truth and make it public.”
“I have my own misgivings about the whole thing. (But) pending the release of the investigation of the NBI, we all must just keep our silence,” he added.
Duterte also addressed squarely the fears of reprisal from the military.
“I cannot prevent you, if you want to take revenge, then go ahead, I will not stop you. But also at the end of the day, just give me one answer: did the country benefit from furthering the violence?”
He likened the Jolo killing to a turbulence being experienced by a sailing ship.
“The ship of state is sailing (and experiences) turbulent waters. I am here to ask you (to) help me make the waters calm,” Duterte said.
Prior to the Talk to Troops at the gym of the Edwin Andrews Air Base, Duterte had a private meeting with police officers and men, including the nine involved in the killing of the soldiers.
The meeting was held at the conference room of the Air Combat Command, also inside the air base.
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