DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte finally made it to Marawi City after his third try to visit government troops on Thursday.

During his visit which, according to a source, lasted for a maximum of four hours, Duterte talked to the troops and assured his support to them. Duterte was accompanied by top security officials, including Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año and Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon.

The visit of the Commander-in-Chief of the AFP at the 103rd Infantry Brigade at Camp Ranao came on the 58th day of the fighting between government forces and the Maute group.

Lt. Col. Joar Herrera, spokesperson of Joint Task Force Marawi, says Duterte arrived after lunch and had an “intimate engagement” with soldiers and police in the city.

Herrera said it was a good thing that the weather cooperated this time and the President was able to boost the morale of government troops.

“Kami ay nagagalak, ang mga kasundaluhan at pulis sa kanyang pagbisita,” Herrera said. He said Duterte was very firm and dedicated in his support to the ongoing operation in Marawi City.

He said the President’s speech centered on the troops’ heroism despite the challenges they are facing.

Aside from talking to government troops, Duterte also gave them goods. The troops also presented to Duterte the firearms recovered in the war zone in Marawi which were supposed to be presented to him on his first scheduled visit in the Army camp on June 8.

Duterte failed twice to get inside the city due to bad weather. (davaotoday.com)

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