Updated 10:28 AM PHT Wed, November 30, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The President is flying off to Lanao del Sur despite being advised otherwise due to the ongoing clashes in the province's town of Butig.
Speaking at the opening of a "mega" drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would fly down south as planned to visit soldiers wounded during operations against the Maute terror group.
Earlier in the day, the convoy of the presidential advance party had been ambushed, leaving members of the Presidential Security Group and Philippine Army wounded.
"I'm going there because I am simpy going there... The advice was to postpone but I said 'no,' Duterte said. "And if possible take the same route. Maybe we can have a little gunfight here, gunfight there."
The President, who is not known for shying away from fights, has always said that if it was one's time to die, there's nothing one can do about it but accept God's will.
"Kung hindi ako lulusot [Should I not make it out of there], nandyan naman... That's why we have a Vice President Leni Robredo," he said.
The President, known for cursing, added that the country could then have a different leader.
"You can have a gentle president also in exchange for the discourteous mouth."
He, however, said that despite the skirmishes in Lanao, the situation remained under control.
'Mega' drug rehab center
The President was in Fort Magsaysay where he led the launching of the first phase of the Nueva Ecija Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center.
Duterte has dubbed the facility "mega" given the vast expanse of land it covers — 11 hectares — and that it can accommodate up to 10,000 patients.
The giant rehab center was donated by Chinese billionaire, Huang Rulun of Century Golden Resources Group.
Currently, there are 37 patients admitted — from Nueva Ecija and nearby provinces — with 800 health workers looking after them.
The first phase can only treat 2,500.
The Bicutan facility used to be the country's biggest rehab center — with a 1,000-patient capacity.
CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.