By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Tuesday said that the spirit of the soldiers currently fighting the Maute Group was lifted after the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.
As this developed, the military said that the number of Maute terrorists killed in more than two months of fighting in Marawi City has already reached 453.
Captain Jo-Ann D. Petinglay, the spokesperson of the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said soldiers of the Joint Task Force Marawi were able to watch the 2nd SONA of the Chief Executive and they were happy with what they heard.
Petinglay said soldiers were happy upon hearing President Duterte vowing to strengthen the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and help the people of Marawi City in the midst of the all-out military offensive against the Daesh-inspired group in the city
“The President’s statement of support to the AFP uplifted the morale of the troops and left them more motivated and determined in fulfilling their mandate to protect the country’s sovereignty, including the liberation of Marawi City from terror,” Petinglay said
For his part, AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said the statement made by President Duterte that he is solidly behind the military will greatly encourage every personnel to do their best and carry out their constitutional duties.
“With no less than the Commander-in-Chief saying, this is more than a just assurance but a solid guarantee of his support in the fulfillment of our constitutional mandate,” Padilla said.