Duterte vows to strengthen military, police to prepare for ‘dangerous times ahead’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Noel Celis/Pool
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Quezon city, metro Manila, Philippines August 17, 2016. REUTERS/Noel Celis/Pool

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday vowed to continue working on strengthening the country’s military and police forces to better prepare them for what he says are dangerous times ahead.

In a speech during the appreciation dinner for former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday night, Duterte said he would like to leave behind a strong Armed Forces and police when he completes his term in 2022.

Duterte said he should be prepared because of the incoming peril he senses.

“I see very dangerous times ahead. And I hope that we will be able to contain whatever there is,” he said.

“Lumalabas nga ‘yung pawis sa kamay ko just thinking about if it would go awry outside of Sulu and Basilan Islands,” he added.

The president further stated that while he has acquired the necessary military weapons to fight terrorism, he also expressed hope that Congress would make a move to further strengthen the country’s line of defense.

“We have acquired so many armaments. And there were things, kakaunti na lang, which I hope that Congress would tide us over to complete the instruments that we need in dealing, especially with terrorism,” he said.

Duterte also hopes that by the time he steps down from office, the country’s troops will be supplied with new weapons and tools to deal with terrorism because he is not sure if the next president will be able to do it.

“I hope that by the time I make my exit, nandiyan na lahat ‘yan because I am not belittling the events to come or the person coming in to be the next president. Hindi ko alam kung sino,” he said.

“And I’d rather that I leave with a strong military and police and equipped to challenge the enemies of the state, especially terrorism,” he added.

On Monday night, the president met with military officials but the Malacañang has yet to release any detail on what was discussed during the said meeting.

This follows the June 28 twin blasts in Indanan town in Sulu, which killed eight people including three soldiers, and injured 12 others.

Authorities earlier confirmed that one of two suicide bombers behind the Indanan explosions was a Filipino.

The Philippine National Police Regional Crime Lab Office 11 reported that examination on reference DNA samples taken from Vilman Alam Lasuca and Alhussin Alam Lasuca concluded there is a 99.99% percentage probability match.

Vilman and Alhussin Lasuca are claimant mother and brother of one of the suspected bombers.

 “Hence, it can be concluded that one of the alleged suicide bombers is the son of Vilman Alam Lasuca,” RCLO 11 said in a laboratory report.

The identification of the second suspected bomber, on the other hand, is still underway as authorities are still collecting DNA samples to establish match on its identity, authorities said. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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