From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 5): President Duterte visits troops in Marawi main battle area
President Rodrigo Duterte has distributed G-shock military watches and other goods as well as inspired the troops in the front line in Marawi City, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) announced Saturday.
Duterte arrived 30 minutes past 4:00 p.m. Friday and “entered the main battle area and visited the soldiers and policemen fighting in Marawi City” amid a heavy downpour.
“Even the heavy rain could not stop the Commander-in-Chief in visiting his troops in the front line yesterday (Friday, August 4),” the Westmincom said.
His visit came days after the troops successfully gained control of strategic structures previously occupied by the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
He was welcomed by Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Westmincom chief; Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander; Maj. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, Special Operations Command chief; Brig. Gen. Ramiro Rey, Joint Task Force Ranao commander; and other ground commanders.
In his message to the troops, President Duterte said he wanted them to stay alive and “practice caution until the end of the war.”
“Malapit na itong matapos, konting tiis nalang. Just make sure na buhay kayo pag natapos itong gyera na ito,” the President told around 300 soldiers and policemen who excitedly listened to him.
President met with ground commanders who are in the main battle area, “to show them that he is, all the way, with them in this fight.”
The President also pledged to put up a PhP50-billion trust fund for the soldier's and policemen's dependents.
He added that scholarship grants will also be accorded to the children of uniformed men.
The soldiers were all in smiles after meeting and personally seeing their Commander-in-Chief, who left the front line an hour later.
Drenched in the rain, President Duterte spent about 20 minutes taking “selfies and groupies with the troops before he left the vicinity.”
He was accompanied by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr; Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Eduardo Año; Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda; Navy Flag Officer in Command, Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado; and Air Force Chief, Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina.