CATARMAN, Northern Samar,  — President Rodrigo R. Duterte visited and talked to the 803rd “peacemaker” Brigade, Philippine Army, Camp Juan Ponce Sumoroy, Catarman, Northern Samar on Tuesday.

He is aware, he said, that the Samar area is critical, heavily contaminated by members of the New Peoples Army, thus his visit to the place.

The President said he is pleased to be with the troops to personally greet them for their relentless efforts to maintain law and order as well as protect the welfare of the people in Northern Samar.

“Today we recognize the brigade’s accomplishments against the communist terrorists and their contribution to the campaign against illegal drugs. You have indeed served the country well by your recent achievement,”  Duterte said.

He further said, “As I have promised, I assure any soldier or policeman who risked his life for our country and democracy that I have your backs, just continue performing your duties as well and you can be assured this administration will take care of you and your families by providing you with necessary financial assistance.”

President Duterte announced that he provided the brigade with additional transport vehicle, extended fund support for the enhancement of the road of the camp, the administration building and the 8ID liaison building.

He reiterated his call for the communist insurgents to abandon their extremist activities and return to the folds of the law.

Some of them were given financial assistance under the Enhanced-Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“This is just one of the several programs to help them in their reintegration into our communities,” he said.

The President said, “Terrorism and illegal drug trade continue to threaten the peace and stability of our nation thereby affecting the economy and even the moral fiber of our society.”

“This administration and the entire Filipino nation,” he continues, “relies on the heroic dedication of our soldiers and policemen to ensure that the nation and its interests are secure,” he added.

He then encouraged everyone to work hard together in ensuring that the people will have a peaceful and prosperous future they richly deserve.

At the grandstand, the President was with Sec. Bong Go, Undersecretary Arthur Tabaquero, Major General Raul Farnacio, BGen. Alex Luna, and BGen. Ramil Bitong.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived at the area at around  3:35 p.m. and took off at the Catarman Airport at 5:34 p.m. (NBQ/AND/PIA-8, Northern Samar)