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Duterte: ‘Sorry’ for botched airstrike

President Duterte is “sorry” for the recent botched military air strike in Marawi City but conceded there is “no guarantee” it won’t happen again.

Although he is hopeful there will be no repeat of the incident, the President mentioned the “Murphy’s Law” that states anything that can go wrong, will.

“We are sorry that it happened and I hope that this will not be repeated but there is no guarantee. Any war, everything is stretched and it can break any moment,” Duterte said during a media interview in Cagayan de Oro last Saturday night.

“It is a very sad commentary but this thing will happen again and again and again. It does, it has not happened not only with the Philippine Army, minsan Navy, and then there is what you would call the ‘Murphy’s Law,’” he said.

“The Murphy’s Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong,” said Duterte who was in Cagayan de Oro to visit wounded troops in a hospital.

Ten soldiers were killed and several others were injured when a Philippine Air Force plane botched a bombing run in Marawi City last week. A conventional bomb was used in the air strike after they reportedly ran out of precision-guided weapons.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana had said the military might consider limiting or suspending the air strikes to avoid a repeat of the botched air strike.

The President said the incident is now under investigation by the military, adding he would not interfere with the probe.

“So we are sad, there is an investigation. I am not privy to it and I leave it to the military alone to do their job.

I don’t even make calls,” he said.

He said the only time he called Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año was when he ordered the lifting of the ceasefire on communist rebels following their attacks on troops.

The President said he has started to raise money for the planned trust fund for the families of slain soldiers and cops in the country. The trust fund, which has an initial fund of R20 billion, will help provide education assistance for the children of the fallen soldiers, Duterte said.

“May nakita na ako. It’s R20 billion initial. If I could have reached 50, sobra-sobra na ‘yan,” he said in recent remarks before government troops in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Meanwhile, the government intends to arrest and detain “forever” the narco-politicians and other individuals aiding the armed groups in Marawi, Duterte said.

According to the President, first on the government’s target list are those manufacturing shabu and providing financial assistance to terror groups.

“In the days ahead, we will arrest all of them. No. 1 ‘‘yung nag produce ng shabu, nagbigay ng pera sa terorista, they will all be arrested, whether politicians or not,” Duterte said during a media interview in Cagayan de Oro. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)