Duterte issued the statement Thursday as he addressed the soldiers during the launching of Tienda Para sa mga Bayani at the 6th Regional Community Defense Group in Camp General Adriano Hernandez here.
Duterte said his government is trying to fulfill all his campaign promises such as eliminating graft and corruption, eradicating crime and illegal drugs, maintaining peace and order and improving the economy.
“Konting tiis lang. I’m on my second year. Maybe towards the end of the third year and the early part of the fourth year medyo angat na tayo,” the President said asking the nation to be more patient with regard to economic development.
He related that the economy continues to grow and more jobs are being created through massive infrastructure development programs particularly in Metro Manila and Mindanao.
He again urged professionals and skilled workers as well as Filipino domestic helpers abroad to return to the country and contribute to development and growth.
“Hindi na kayo kailangang pumunta sa labas. Huwag kayong pumunta sa labas kasi I cannot protect you. Magtiis-tiis na lang tayo dito,” he said especially to Filipinos who are planning to work abroad as domestic workers.
The President earlier banned the deployment of workers in Kuwait following the series of deaths of Filipinos working there including Joanna Demafelis, whose body was found inside a freezer in an abandoned apartment.
Before addressing the military, Duterte visited the wake of Demafelis where he assured the family that justice would be served for the brutal death of the 29-year-old domestic worker.
“I’d tell you now, until and unless mahuli ‘yung dalawa and they are really behind bars, the deployment of OFW to [Kuwait] will remain. Ban po talaga,” he said referring to Demafelis’ foreigner employers, who are the primary suspects in her death.
Aside from overseas workers, the President likewise issued his appeal to the members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to return to the fold of the law promising them with a better life by providing them job and livelihood opportunities.
“Sumurender (surrender) kayo, I will pay you. Mag-enroll kayo sa TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority). Learn the skills ngayon kasi wala na tayong trabahante,” he said.
The President then reiterated his promise to support and protect the uniformed personnel saying that he could not afford to lose even a single soldier or policeman.
“‘Yung mamalengke ‘yung sundalo, pinagpapatay ng NPA. Not in actual combat. No guns are drawn and yet, my soldiers are dying needlessly. Sabi ko, hanapan ninyo ito ng paraan kasi I do not want this even to continue time and again,” he said as he lauded the launching of Tienda inside military camps.
Thursday’s Tienda launch is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of National Defense (DND).
Tienda is a marketing scheme that allows farmers and fisherfolks to sell their produce directly to the consumers inside military camps nationwide.
Tienda Para sa mga Bayani is the third Tienda in Western Visayas.
The DA and DND are eyeing to set up Tienda in 20 camps nationwide amounting to P10 million.
The project is in line with President Duterte’s vision of providing available and afforable food for Filipinos. (PND