President Rodrigo Duterte feted 76 soldiers who were injured while fighting the Maute group in Marawi City.
The Commander-in-Chief awarded the Order of Lapu-Lapu medals to the 76 military personnel when he visited the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro on Saturday.
“Fight for the country. Our duty here is to protect the people and to preserve our country. It is a little chaotic, that’s why you are making sacrifices,” Duterte said.
“You are making the toughest and greatest contribution to our country,” he added.
The President also gave the 76 soldiers mobile phones, cash and new service firearms.
“I’m giving you these cellphones because I want you to have access to the Commander-in-Chief. I want you to have a direct line to me in the event that you need it. We’ll solve your problem,” Duterte said.
“We will end this chaos. We won’t stop until the last terrorist is taken out. That has been my vow to the people, and we have to fulfill it.” The President reiterated his promise to provide a P50 billion trust fund for soldiers’ family members. The fund will be used to provide hospitalization, livelihood and scholarships to children of military personnel.
“You won’t need to worry about these things. I will take care of your family,” Duterte said.
As of September 7, at least 653 Maute terrorists have been killed by government troops. At least 45 civilians and 145 government troops have died since the Islamic State-linked group seized Marawi in May.