DAVAO CITY, Philippines — City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte asked the Civil Aviation Authority in the Philippines to fund the creation of a VIP lounge for police and soldiers, especially those in transit to new field assignments.
In a statement on Friday, Aug. 4 the Presidential son also declared that amenities such as food and drinks should be provided to them free of charge.
This, Duterte said, is a “show of recognition and appreciation” to the service men and women who are in the frontline of the administration’s war against terrorism and illegal drugs.
“The attacks in Marawi City by the Mautes, for instance, serve as a grim reminder that we are living in an unsafe world. But it also stands as a glowing confirmation that that there are people who will die to defend all of us against the threats of terrorists,” the vice mayor said.
“Already, over a hundred of our soldiers sent to the frontline never made it back home, back to their families, alive. Those who survived told us tales not only about the horrors in fighting the Mautes, but also told us about warm stories of soldiers’ sacrifices, heroism, and of holding strong and standing bravely in the middle of intense fighting,” he added.
As of August 2, there are already 116 soldiers and police who were killed in action in Marawi City. Meanwhile, the Joint Task Force Marawi said there are 45 civilians and 513 suspected terrorists killed in the fighting that has dragged on to its 74th day today.
The vice mayor, who is a staunch critic of communists, also lauded the soldiers and police who are “protecting” or “liberating” communities from the New People’s Army. His father, President Rodrigo Duterte, recently announced the government’s termination of the talks with the communists.
The police is also continuing the crackdown on illegal drugs trade in the country, with 68,214 anti-drug operations yielding 96,703 arrests, and 1,308,078 surrenders from July 1, 2016 to July 26 of this year, according to data from the Philippine National Police website.
Government’s data also showed 3,451 individuals have died in drug related police operations. However, the Human Rights Watch pegs the number to at least 7,000. (davaotoday.com)