Before heading back to Malacañang, President Duterte made a stop in Jolo, Sulu on Monday to visit wounded soldiers, his spokesman said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed on Monday evening that President Duterte’s made an unannounced trip to Jolo.
In a text message, Roque said the President addressed troops in the province.
“I confirm that PRRD had just left Jolo, Sulu where he addressed the troops and visited wounded soldiers,” Roque said.
Malacañang is yet to disclose further details about President Duterte’s visit but Communications Undersecretary Rocky Ignacio said the President’s speech will be aired over state-run PTV-4 on Tuesday morning.
This was President Duterte’s first visit to Jolo, Sulu after the misencounter between police officers and the military recently that resulted in the deaths of four soldiers.
President Duterte went to Zamboanga City on July 3, his first public appearance after the entire country was placed under quarantine in March, to talk to the soldiers and ask them to help him “calm the waters” between the two groups.
He assured soldiers that justice will be served for their fallen comrades but asked them to let the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) probe the incident and not let their emotions get the better of them.
“Mag-neutral na lang ako sa salita ko (I will be neutral). [I have] misgivings about the whole thing. But pending the release, pending the investigation of the NBI, we all must just keep our silence,” he added.
Police initially said the incident in Sulu was a misencounter, but the military described it as “murder” instead.