Philippines Report

Late Duterte, bad weather hamper Lanao Independence Day rites

President Rodrigo Duterte was late for nearly 4 hours for an Independence Day flag raising event that he was supposed to lead in Lanao del Sur Wednesday.

Duterte arrived at the 6th Infantry Batallion Headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur just before 6 p.m. for the event scheduled at 2 p.m.

Rain also hampered the flag-raising event, prompting the President and other officials to proceed to the speech venue instead.

In his speech, the President honored the members of the 6th Infantry Batallion known as the “Redskin Battalion” for suppressing threats to security in the region.

“…This unit has been engaged in our government’s fight against the Dawiah Islamiyah, the Maute Group, and other lawless elements that continue to threaten the region,” Duterte said. 

“On behalf of a grateful nation, I thank the brave men and women of the Redskin Battalion for your bravery, selflessness service, and unconditional love of country. Your valor has indeed earned you a place among the valiant heroes who built this nation 121 years ago,” he added.

Unlike his usual hours-long speeches, Duterte's remarks on Wednesday were relatively short.

Before visiting the military camp, the President led the wreath-laying activity at the monument of late chief justice Jose Abad Santos, whom he described as a “true patriot even to the last moment.”

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