MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the release of P4.7 billion for the payment of administrative liability and arrears to World War II veterans, widows of slain soldiers and Army retirees aged 80 and above.
In a speech during the National Heroes' Day rites at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, Duterte said the amount was appropriated in the 2016 budget but was not released by his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
He said he has signed implementing rules and regulations (IRR) so that the funds could be disbursed "as soon as possible."
Duterte also explained that out of the total amount, P3.5 billion will be allocated to the pension of widows while P1.2 billion will go to AFP retirees and war veterans.
He also told soldiers and policemen: "Remember this: Mahal ko kayo (I love you)."
Duterte also reiterated that government troops heeding his war against narcotics and criminality will always have his full support, even if they face lawsuits for killing suspected criminals.
"You will have my support, you will have all the things you need to fight criminals. Do not worry in the pursuit of law and order. Pursuant to my directions, you do not have to worry," he said.
"I will go the prison for you. I take full, legal responsibility," added Duterte.
The President also vowed that there will be no let-up in his brutal crackdown against law offenders.
"I will not relent -- the campaign will be continuous... I will be harsh as I can ever be," he said. "I will finish this problem of corruption, drugs and crime."