MANILA– Do not let them get you alive.
President Rodrigo Duterte had this message to his troops as state forces continued to quell terror groups and communist rebels across the country.
“Huwag kayong mag-surrender nang buhay at makuha ang baril na 'yan, patay kayo,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.
“Kapag na-corner ka, all you have to do is raise your right hand with a f*****g sign. Kainin mo ang baril.”
Duterte made the remarks as he turned over 3,000 caliber .45 pistols to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, fulfilling his promise to better arm soldiers and protect them against attacks outside camps.
He, however, told the soldiers not to get caught alive and to never leave the firearms with the enemy.
The Commander-in-Chief said the distribution of the initial batch of 3,000 pistols should lessen rebel attacks on soldiers, a string of which have happened in recent months.
He added that soldiers must not leave their camps unarmed, describing as "stupid" the policy barring troops in civilian clothes from carrying firearms.
The President also reminded the troops not to use their pistols on innocent civilians.
As he told soldiers to watch out for attacks, he again blasted communist guerrillas for their continued offensives against government forces.
“Ang problema sa military, though it is no fault of yours, paglabas kayo ng kampo, wala kayong baril. Kapag uwi niyo, inaabangan kayo ng mga NPA,” Duterte said.
“Ang ayaw ko ay yung patayin nila ang mga tao ng walang armas, walang kalaban laban. Kailangan ko talaga to place my soldiers on equal footing with them,” he added.
Duterte had earlier urged leftist rebels to stop attacks on government troops to give way to peace talks, which were suspended anew in May.
The President places great importance on the military, vowing to set up an education fund for soldiers’ children and providing for their needs. He has also appointed former military men to key positions in government.