Malacañang on Monday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s “sickly” appearance before troops in Zamboanga City last Friday was not because of health issues.
In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was extremely sad about the death of four soldiers at the hands of policemen on June 29 in Jolo, Sulu.
“Matamlay po talaga siya dahil talagang kusang malungkot. Doon ko lang po nakita na talagang napakalungkot ng ating Presidente. Para siyang ama na namatayan ng mga anak dahil nag-away-away. Talagang emotional po siya,” he said.
“At some point, nagka-crack po iyong kaniyang voice at doon ko lang po nakita na talagang he took it very personal itong nangyari po sa Jolo. That’s not health-related; it’s more of an emotional issue,” Roque added.
In his speech, Duterte asked the soldiers to remain calm and wait for the results of the probe being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation.
He vowed that justice will be served even as he declined to condemn anybody at this point.
The military said the soldiers were conducting intelligence operations to track alleged suicide bombers when they were flagged down by the policemen.
The men had identified themselves as military personnel but were told to go to a nearby police station for further verification, police said.
Upon arriving at the station, the police report said, the soldiers allegedly tried to escape, prompting the policemen to chase them. The soldiers allegedly disembarked from their vehicle and pointed their weapons at their pursuers.
Police then fired shots at the soldiers, killing them.
While the PNP branded what transpired as a shooting incident, the Philippine Army concluded that it was a case of murder.
The PNP has disarmed and relieved from their posts the nine policemen involved in the incident.—AOL, GMA News