DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte offered a good meal, durian fruits, and Casio G-Shock wrist watches to 1,000 members of the 69th Infantry Battalion who went to Basilan and Sulu to participate in the ongoing military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf.
The soldiers from the 69th Army battalion of the 10th Infantry Division and the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion based in Compostela Valley left Davao City Wednesday noon and Thursday morning.
On Wednesday night, August 24, Duterte had dinner with them and brought them to Magsaysay Park, where he ate durian with them.
Photo from 10th Agila Division
Secretary Christopher Lawrence Go of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (OSAP) told Rappler, "Each one was given (a) G-Shock casio wrist watch as a sign of support from the President ."
Go handed the wrist watches just before the soldiers finished their dinner, adding, "lahat sila binigyan (all were given one)."
While eating Durian with the soldiers, Duterte reminded the soldiers, "We need to protect the Republic. Go after them, mag ingat din kayo!"
After receiving the orders, the soldiers shouted "Yes, Sir!"
The Army's Major General, Rafael Valencia, sent off the the 69th Infantry Battalion's "Cougar" troopers to always abide by the rules of war and be safe.
President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his directive to the troops to “destroy” the Abu Sayyaf during his press conference early Thursday, August 25, in Davao City.