Duterte sets aside P500M for treatment, housing of injured soldiers

Pia Ranada

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Duterte sets aside P500M for treatment, housing of injured soldiers
The Philippine leader tells soldiers who lost their limbs that they should aspire to be like South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the first double-leg amputee to compete in Olympic track events

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has set aside P500 million for wounded and disabled soldiers, including those who fought in Marawi City.

Speaking to Philippine Marines on Tuesday, November 7, Duterte said he already ordered the release of the funds to build homes for the soldiers and pay for their treatment and recuperation.

“The other day, I told Defense Secretary Lorenzana that I’d be releasing P500 million for the wounded and disabled soldiers, just for them,” he said.

The President ordered the National Housing Authority to build houses near cities where soldiers can stay as they recover from their injuries or adjust to their disability.

“I’ll build something like a convalescence village near urban cities, where the soldiers can have a better access to the hospitals and of course the training for the prosthesis,” said Duterte.

Assuring soldiers “there is life after Marawi,” the President cited the case of South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius who competed in the Olympics despite having no legs below the knee.

Pistrorius has been dubbed “Blade Runner” since he uses blade-like carbon-fiber prosthetics to run. Pistorius also gained infamy for killing his girlfriend in 2013.

“I guarantee them that for those who are really wanting to stand again, the use of prosthesis and titanium – the best example is the Blade Runner who killed his lover, but he was a very good runner using titanium,” said Duterte.

The President also repeated his promise to raise the salaries of law enforcers.

He vowed that by January, the military, police, and members of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and Bureau of Fire Protection would see an “almost double” increase in their salaries.

The speech did not end without Duterte again vowing his total support for the military and police.

“I love my soldiers and I love my police and you can be very sure that I am there when the moment needs me. ‘Andiyan ako sa tabi ninyo (I am there, by your side),” said the Commander-in-Chief.

During an event earlier that day, Duterte also conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu, rank of Kampilan upon 5 soldiers wounded in Marawi. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.