PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his unwavering support and commitment to the soldiers and policemen whom he described as the “silent heroes” who risked their lives everyday for the country’s security.
“Those who are on the ground in the battlefields and those who are risking their lives for our country and our democracy, I have your backs,” he said during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
The President added: “To those who oppose and think that all of these efforts are out of order I hold myself: me and me alone should be responsible.”
The commander-in-chief said that in recognition of the soldiers’ valor, the government has crafted a program to provide members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) “a comprehensive social assistance, including financial should they meet harm in the performance of their duty.”
“For the families left behind by those who fell or rendered totally disabled in the line of duty, we shall provide shelter, health care assistance, education, and employment,” he said.
“That is my way of telling our troops never fear do your duty, I stand behind you so does this government and all its agencies,” the President said.
Sen. Francis Escudero has sought to create a P20-billion trust fund for soldiers and policemen who were either killed or wounded in the line of duty in Marawi City and in previous armed conflicts with rebel groups.
Escudero filed Senate Bill 1491 designed to institutionalize the trust fund, which will be set up by the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The money will be used to finance five types of assistance: full scholarship, financial, shelter, health and medical care, and cost of living.
Escudero said the President had promised for government troops who fought the Maute extremists in Marawi.
The senator said SBN 1491 provided the “legislative cover” for the President’s promised financial aid to the families of soldiers and policemen who were either killed in action (KIA) or wounded in action (WIA) during operations “sanctioned by the government.”