MANILA (UPDATE) - Hollywood star Steven Seagal on Friday joined President Rodrigo Duterte during the Chief Executive’s visit to troops in Jolo, Sulu, giving encouraging words to soldiers fighting extremists and communist rebels.
Duterte told the troops that Seagal offered to join him in Sulu and that the actor said he would be just fine visiting a province known as a terrorist stronghold.
“My good friend Steven Seagal…Sumama talaga dito. Sabi niya, ‘Sama ako. Bigyan mo lang ako ng M4 at okay na,’” Duterte said of Seagal, who received loud applause from the troops stationed in Camp General Teodulfo Bautista in Barangay Bus-Bus.
“Alam mo, gusto ko ring marinig ang mga boses nito. Nagkita kami pero sandali lang. So I’d like to invite Mr. Steven Seagal to give us about a few words of your thoughts about the Filipinos and the sacrifices that my soldiers have to do and maybe some inspiring words,” the President said to his guest who he first met in October at the Malacañang Palace.
Obliging to the Philippine Commander-in-Chief, Seagal gave a brief message to Filipino troops, commending them for their “commitment to your country, your President and your commitment to do the things you have to do to make the Philippines safe.”
“We have a problem. We have kidnapping, narco-trafficking, human trafficking, organ trafficking and terrorism… I know you guys put your life on the line,” said the long-time action star.
“I understand that this is serious business and I believe there is a formula that can help the Armed Forces, the police, the intelligence network, to combat this very well.”
Seagal said the Philippine military’s wars are “winnable,” even though it may take time to gain such victory.
“I think the main thing we all have to keep in our heart is we don’t win this battle today. We don’t win this battle tomorrow. It’s gonna be a long fight, but the idea is to annihilate the enemy through attrition,” he said.
“It’s gonna be a long battle, but slowly, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, the enemy will get smaller and finally they will be gone to the point where it is absolutely and positively controllable.”
Seagal, who became famous for his action movies such as “Under Siege” and “Hard to Kill”, is in the Philippines to shoot the television series “Commander General,” which is co-produced by former Ilocos Sur Governor and now Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Councilor Chavit Singson.
The Hollywood actor earlier visited Duterte in Malacañang in October.
Duterte visited Sulu to confer the Order of Lapu-Lapu (Kamagi and Kampilan) on several soldiers who took part in the liberation of Marawi City from Islamic State-linked terrorists.
Established by Duterte in April, the Order of Lapu-Lapu is an award given to civil servants and private individuals “in recognition of their invaluable or extraordinary service in relation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”