MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday took full responsibility for the shortcomings of the way the Marawi siege was handled last year, noting that the government could have done better.
On Wednesday (May 23), Marawi City will mark the commemoration of the first year after ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group laid siege to the city which led to the death of over 1,000 people.
We had a very sad experience in the Marawi siege. And we all know that we have fallen short in some respects the way it was handled. I assume full responsibility, Duterte said in a speech during the 120th anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Pasay City.
Duterte said he did not anticipate that there would be so much ordnance and that the fight between terrorist fighters and government troops would take over four months to finish.
All of these faults, if it is indeed one, or our faults, it belongs and it falls on my shoulders as Commander-in-Chief. And I assume full responsibility to the nation of what's going to happen, he added.
The President recalled how he had to declare martial law in Mindanao and cut short his trip to Russia.
That is a painful realization to be signing something about your country, about the safety of your country, about the safety of the people and to give the orders outside of the Republic of the Philippines, Duterte said.
The Chief Executive, meanwhile, congratulated the Philippine Navy for its 120 years of unwavering service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to defend shores, protect seas, and secure maritime borders.
He also recognized the Navy's accomplishments and contributions in humanitarian assistance, maritime law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and disaster relief operations.
To the brave soldiers and marines of our Navy, you have made the Filipino people proud and continue to do so with gallantry in defending our sovereignty in our territorial waters, particularly in the West Philippine Sea, Duterte said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency