By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte warned Tuesday night of dangerous times ahead and said that he is working on strengthening the country’s military and police to better prepare them for the challenges.
The President said he would like to leave behind a strong armed forces and police before he steps down from office in 2022.
“My oath of office can simply be reduced to very simple terms: to protect the people and preserve the Philippines,” he said during the appreciation dinner for former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday.
Duterte said that while he has acquired armaments that the military needs to combat terrorism, he wishes 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 (only a few left), which I hope that Congress would tide us over to complete the instruments that we need in dealing, especially with terrorism,” he said.
Duterte expressed hope that the country’s military and police would be improved before he steps down because he is not sure if his successor will be able to do it.
“I hope that by the time I make my exit, nandiyan na lahat ‘yan (we have complete armaments) because I am not belittling the events to come or the person coming in to be the next president,” he said.
“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.
The President said that he should be prepared because he is sensing danger, hinting that the Philippines may find difficulty containing it.
“I see very dangerous times ahead. And I hope that we will be able to contain whatever it is,” Duterte said.
“Lumalabas nga ‘yung pawis sa kamay ko (My palms are sweating) just thinking about if it would go awry outside of Sulu and Basilan Islands,” he added.