President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday handed over boxes of goods to some soldiers who had figured in the fighting related to the Zamboanga City standoff.
Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said, the President brought with him: “4,000 bottles of Gatorade; 19 boxes or 4,000 strips of Enervon C; 5,000 tablets of Vitamin B Complex and Ascorbic Acid; 1,500 pieces of Globe Cell Cards; 1,500 pieces of Smart Cell Cards; 1,000 pieces of Sun Cell Cards; 440 cases of assorted candies and chocolates; and 4,000 boxes of Growers Nutribar.”
In his speech, President Aquino commended the soldiers for upholding law and order in Zamboanga impasse with rogue Moro National Liberation Front fighters.
“Hindi ko din ugali ang mag-atas ng trabaho na hindi naman ako makadamay. Maski papaano, dadamayan ko kayo to the extent possible [It’s not a habit of mine to issue orders without offering a helping hand of my own. I am here to help and sympathize, to the extent possible],” Aquino said.
“At hindi ako naniniwala na nasa Maynila ako, kayo namang nandito ay mahina at namomroblema. Matagal ang problemang ito, mula noong mag-umpisa at karamay ninyo ako hanggang matapos natin itong sitwasyong ito [I don’t believe it’s proper for me to spend all my time in Manila while you here have to go at it alone. This problem has taken long enough; I’ve been with you since the beginning, and I’ll be here until the situation is resolved,],” he added
The President said that his government is working to ensure that a situation like this does not happen again.
He also emphasized that their objective is to resolve situation peacefully and not to allow groups to undermine peace.
“Tanggapin po natin na talagang mayroong ibang mga tao na may agenda. Ang sa kanila ay hiwalay sa kapakanan ng nakakarami, hindi ng buong bansa [We have to recognize that there are certain people who are have their own agenda, which is divorced from the interests of the majority, if not the entire country],” he said.
“At sila ho, talagang klarong-klaro naman sa lahat kung bakit sila nataguriang enemies of the state and enemies of our people, and we’re sworn to protect our people [It is clear why they are branded as enemies of the state and enemies of our people, and we’re sworn to protect our people.],” Aquino added
Meanwhile, the President reminded the ground forces to be careful in the military operations.
“Mag-iingat tayo. Inatasan natin ang ating liderato na napakahalaga ng buhay ng mga nire-rescue, pati na ng ating Sandatahang Lakas at ng ating kapulisan. Ibibigay din natin nang maayos ang mga plano—maliwanag, hindi high risk or high chance of success kung hindi absolute chance of success and no lives should be harmed unnecessarily Let us keep safe. We have issued directives to our leaders, and told them how important each life is— those who are being rescued, and those of our armed forces and police. We are planning this carefully—clearly, not high risk, and not merely a high chance of success, but an absolute chance of success, with no lives harmed unnecessarily],” Aquino said.
“So gusto kong pasalamatan kayong lahat. Nandito kayo na tumutupad sa inyong mga tungkulin. Medyo talagang very significant ang advantages natin dito. Mayroon tayong mga kalaban pero pipilitin pa rin natin na umahon at tulungan ang bawat naliligaw. Ang
mahalaga, pinili natin na ‘wag mansamantala. Mag-iingat kayo at nandito kami kasama ninyo [I want to thank everyone here. You are here fulfilling your duties. We have very significant advantages against the enemy; we will try everything to help those who have gone astray. It is important that we try not to take advantage of the situation. Keep safe. We are here with you],” the President added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE