By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has pledged P500 million worth of assistance exclusively to the soldiers who were injured (wounded-in-action, WIA) during the height of the battle against the Daesh-inspired terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur over the past five months.
Duterte made the announcement during the launch of the Karne, Isda Supply Suporta sa Masa at Ekonomiya (KISS ME) project in Taguig City Tuesday afternoon.
Aside from the medical assistance, Duterte also pledged a housing project for the said troops.
“Mahal ko ang sundalo ko, mahal ko ang pulis ko (I love my soldiers and policemen). And for you guys, kagaya ninyo na medyo matindi ang tama (like those of you who sustained serious injuries), I have released P500 million,” Duterte said.
“Nagbayad na kasi ‘yung may mga utang na malalaki eh (Those who owed the government large sums of money have paid up). Ah, P500 million just to place you where you are,” he added.
According to Duterte, this would go to the therapy and treatment of the soldiers and for the housing project near Metro Manila.
“Lahat ‘yung mga sundalo na ganun ang sitwasyon ninyo, pati ‘yung wounded recuperating, ‘yung parang convalescence (All soldiers who are in the same situation, including those who are in the period of convalescence), I have ordered a village somewhere near Metro Manila for easy access,” Duterte said.
“Bigyan ko kayo ng mga bahay kaagad and (I will give you houses which are) more spacious, bigger than the ones that we were giving in the past. And in the likes of what we are constructing for our soldiers elsewhere,” he added.
“Gusto kong malaman ninyo (I want you know) that there is life after Marawi,” he continued.
Duterte added that he would want these soldiers to remain in government, even offering to give them jobs which are easier but worthy of them.
“You might want to undergo computer training, or get a job that does not require moving around. I’d be happy to fund that project,” he said.
“One thing is for sure, ‘di kayo pababayaan ng gobyerno (this government will not neglect you),” he added. “Do not indulge in so much self-pity. I’m sure you will be alright.”
He also reiterated his earlier vow that the government would take care of the education of their children.
The President also said that he would buy amputated soldiers prosthetic legs made of titanium.
“I’m going to buy you the prosthetics, ang kailangan ninyo (because that’s what you need), and it’s gonna be a titanium, ‘yung pinaka-gaan (the lightest),” Duterte said.
“[It is] Quite expensive but in the long-run it will have its benefits. It will make the soldiers happy),” he added. “It’s rightfully yours.”
The government has just concluded its five-month war against the Daesh-inspired Maute group and other foreign terrorists in Marawi City.
The war, which started on May 23, prompted the declaration of martial law in the entire island of Mindanao. Major military offensive operations were concluded on October 23, 2017.
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