President Rodrigo Duterte told Second Lieutenant Jerome Jacuba during a dinner in Malacañang’s Heroes Hall August 29 that “there is life after the accident. I will reinvent you.” Jacuba lost his eyesight in combat.
“I am not a soldier, I don’t know kung saan ako papunta, pero ganito iyan. Lahat naman tayo eh, lahat tayo may sinusunod. Whether you like it or not, there is always a day for you. So kayong medyo lumusot, it means to say, fight again. But this I can assure you, my presidency will take care of you. Wala kayong dapat alalahanin.”
He encouraged Jacuba to learn braille and he hopes to send him to law school, talk to San Beda to come up with a program on law for blind people.
He gave the blind soldier a braille laptop, an electric wheelchair for another and promised to give a Glock 30 firearm. This is apart from the promise to the law enforcers that they will start to receive a salary double the amount of what they are getting before the end of the year.
In his many visits to the living heroes of the country, Duterte is the first to salute, not the other way around, and retains his hand on the forehead until the soldier acknowledges, an uncommon gesture from a high ranking official, the AFP’s Commander-in-Chief, a gesture expressing that he (Duterte) recognizes the importance, respect and honor to a soldier regardless of his rank.
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