Duterte to push through with Lanao Sur visit despite Marawi blast
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday remained unfazed by the recent attack against some members of his advance party who were wounded in a roadside blast in Marawi City.
Duterte said he would push through with his scheduled visit in Lanao del Sur on Nov. 30.
“There’s trouble there in Mindanao. It is within control. But I have to go there tomorrow,” Duterte said in his speech during the inauguration of the mega drug rehab center at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
On Tuesday morning, nine soldiers, including seven members of the Presidential Security Group, were wounded after a suspected improvised explosive device went off as the President’s advance party was en route to Marawi around 10:30 to 11 a.m.
“’Yung advance party ko na PSG, tinamaan ng IED (My PSG advance party was hit by IED). But I will go there tomorrow,” the President added.
A military operation was ongoing against the Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur, after the terrorist group occupied the town.
Duterte said he would take the same route where the blast happened, despite advice to cancel his trip.
“I will go there and if possible I’ll take the same route. Maybe we can have a little gunfight here and there,” he said, adding he would also visit the wounded soldiers.
If something happens to him, the President joked that Vice President Leni Robredo was there to take his post, saying she would be “a gentle president” in contrast to a “discourteous mouth.”
“Kung hindi ako lulusot (If I don’t make it), that’s why we have the Vice President, Leni Robredo,” he said.
In a statement, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said “the President has consistently expressed concern for uniformed personnel who bravely walk in harm’s way so we can live in peace and freedom.”
“We assure our brave men and women who put their lives on the line for duty and country that their Commander in Chief will never abandon them in their time,” Andanar said./rga
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