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President Duterte urges military to address peace and security challenges

President Rodrigo Duterte
(Photo courtesy of http://pcoo.gov.ph)
MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte led the swearing in of newly promoted military generals and flag officers on Tuesday, January 31, underscoring the importance of military’s role in the country’s development by ensuring peace and security.

In his speech during the oath-taking rites in Malacanan, President Duterte asked the new officers to guard the welfare of the nation and to help in implementing reforms in government.

"As we endeavor to carry out reforms in all government agencies, I wish that you remain to be the kind of officers who put the welfare of the organization, the nation, and its people above your personal considerations," the President said.

"Bear in mind that your careers grow along with your responsibilities. After all, those hard-earned stars on your shoulders, it is rightful then that you polish them, keep them shining and brightly untainted," he added.

The President reiterated his call for the military to remain loyal to the flag and to the Constitution noting that they should "draw inspiration from the valor of your ancestors."

The President said the success of Davao City when he was mayor could be attributed to the contributions of the military and the police in ensuring peace and security.

He then asked the military to help address urgent matters facing the country particularly the narcotics problem and extremism.

The President said 40 percent of the barangay captains are involved in the drug trade and 6,000 policemen are also into drugs.

As one way to eliminate illegal drugs, the President is considering the revival of the Alunan doctrine, a policy which allows only two police security personnel or bodyguards for each politician.

Local officials who are into drugs, especially in Mindanao, use long convoys and multiple security personnel as cover in shipping drugs, Duterte said.

He said he would prohibit excessive security, adding the Executive Secretary is drafting an order to limit the number of security personnel of politicians.

Another major threat to the country is extremism such as the Abu Sayyaf Group.

“There is a fight at least going on, limited sa Mindanao. We have to contain the fighting in Mindanao. We cannot just uphold, to allow them to spread because ang pinaka delikado diyan, ‘yung mga scholars,” the President said.

According to information from local leaders and from the military, there are four to six Arab men lecturing in Mindanao about extremism, he said. (PND)

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