Duterte gives wounded troops guns, cash and… cow
DAVAO CITY—President Duterte’s generosity toward soldiers is now well-known but it went a step further when he offered one soldier, wounded in battle, a gift that the soldier would surely not forget—a cow.
Seven wounded soldiers recuperating at a hospital here were showered with gifts by the President, who promised them medals, pistols, money and the now famous trip to Hong Kong.
On top of all these, Mr. Duterte gave one soldier, Pfc. Daniel Fabular, a gift that he was likely to remember all his life.
The President offered Fabular a cow to be slaughtered for his wedding to his fiancée of nine years, Natasha Kresta dela Cerna.
“I was elated and overwhelmed when the President stepped into my room, came to my bed and asked how I was doing,” said Fabular, one of five soldiers wounded by an improvised explosive device planted by New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at Cabuyoan village in Mabini town, Compostela Valley, last week.
The 27-year-old Fabular suffered shrapnel wounds in the face, chest, arm and legs.
Dela Cerna, his fiancée, was at his bedside when the President, accompanied by Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go and other officials, visited them at Metro Davao Medical and Research Center.
“I, too, was surprised. I’m very happy to see and meet him in person,” the 26-year-old Dela Cerna said.
She and Fabular were set to tie the knot on June 16 in their hometown, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat province.
They asked Mr. Duterte to stand as their wedding godfather, but it was not known if the President accepted the offer.
Dela Cerna said she believed the President could fit the wedding into his schedule. “After all, it’s a Saturday,” she said of the day the wedding falls.
Fabular said they intended to go on honeymoon in Hong Kong, still courtesy of Mr. Duterte.
The President bestowed the Wounded Personnel Medal and Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kampilan to Fabular and Cpl. Kith Domingo, Pfc. Jackson Macaraeg, Pfc. Roger Belas, Pfc. Nicasio Badana III, Pvt. Michael Liban and Pvt. Roy Inovejas.
Serving the country
According to Executive Order No. 35 signed by Mr. Duterte in 2017, the Kampilan medal is given to government workers and private citizens who were injured or had lost property in pursuit of the President’s campaigns.
Macaraeg was wounded in a clash with the NPA in Lingig, Surigao del Sur province, early this month. Domingo was shot in the leg in a clash with the rebels on April 19.
The soldiers said they would return to the battlefield to “continue serving the country.”
“If it’s already your time to go, your time will come,” Fabular said.
“Death would come at its time whether you’re a soldier or a civilian,” he added.
The soldiers received a total of P110,000 in cash and checks from Mr. Duterte’s special financial assistance budget and the military’s cash aid to wounded troopers. —FRINSTON LIM
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