ARMED with a sniper rifle, President Rodrigo Duterte fired at the direction of the Maute fighters during his third visit in the besieged Marawi City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday.
Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr. said the Commander-in-Chief joined Thursday the state forces guarding the enemies' lairs in Marawi City.
"Based on the feedback of our troops on the ground, the President wanted to be at the frontline. So he went to the main battle area and he visited some of our soldiers who were manning a sniper nest," Padilla said.
"And in the sniper nest, he tried out and fired on the enemy positions in the main battle area. So that is what we got from. So whether there was a target hit, they did not say," he added.
That was the first time Duterte made an attempt to fire at the enemy position. He previously visited Marawi on July 20 and August 4.
In a press statement from Malacañang, the President reportedly requested to stop outside the safe zone to inspect the devastation near the main battle area.
Duterte also went to a temporary patrol base and took chances to fire twice toward the direction of the terrorists.
In a speech delivered before the troops, the President reiterated his support for them as they continue to fight the Islamist fighters.
"I need to be with you to show my solidarity and sadly, to convey also my grief to my slain soldiers and policemen," Duterte said.
"My earlier pronouncement is that we will not stop until the last terrorist is neutralized. That’s what I said. And that will be the ultimate objective of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police," he added. (SunStar Philippines)