By Wilnard Bacelonia

Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte (Screenshot from DepEd FB page)

MANILA – Vice President Sara Z. Duterte on Tuesday said the six Army soldiers who recently died in an encounter with Islamic State-linked Maute Group in Lanao del Sur sacrificed their lives for the safety of Filipinos.

Duterte condoled with the families of the fallen soldiers, adding that the threat of terrorism, especially to the youth, is real.

“Ang kanilang kabayanihan ay kapalit ng kaligtasan ng mga Pilipino hindi lang sa Mindanao kundi sa buong Pilipinas (Their heroism was in exchange for the safety of Filipinos not only in Mindanao, but in the entire country),” Duterte said.

“Sa ating pakikiramay sa kanilang mga pamilya ay tandaan sana natin na totoo ang banta ng terorismo at wala itong pinipiling biktima. Tandaan din natin ang panganib ng pangangalap ng kabataan sa terorismo (In our sympathies to their families, let us be reminded that the threat of terrorism is real and chooses no one as its victim. Let us also keep in mind about the danger of the recruitment of our children to terrorism),” she added.

Duterte was mayor of Davao City when the Roxas Night Market was bombed in 2016, and the Marawi Siege in Lanao del Sur in 2017.

“Bilang isang Mindanawon, personal para sa akin ang laban na ito (As a Mindanawon, this fight is personal for me),” she said.

She urged Filipinos to unite against the “enemies” of the country and reiterated her salute to all fallen soldiers who made the “most noble” sacrifice. (PNA)