Bad weather foils another Duterte visit to Marawi

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President Rodrigo Duterte was in Iligan City on Friday for an unannounced visit to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Light Armor Division in Barangay Maria Christina to assure the troops of the government's unwavering support. | Photo from PCO Facebook Page

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) — Criminals and terrorists may not be able to stop him — but bad weather would.

President Rodrigo Duterte was in Iligan City on Friday for an unannounced visit to the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, Light Armor Division in Barangay Maria Christina to assure the troops of the government's unwavering support.

Clad in battle gear with a rifle slung on his shoulder, Duterte said he was set to go to Marawi next. But the weather had been inclement.

"We were circling many times but we could not penetrate, the what, really squall, so we waited for the skies to clear up but it was raining the whole day sa Marawi," he said.

The President said he wanted to "show his face" and be with his troops amid the ongoing conflict in the Islamic city.

"Hindi naman puwede yang peace time ka dun pumunta (It cannot be that you only go there during peace time). Di naman yung sabihin mo na (You cannot say that) you place yourself in jeopardy, but somehow during the fighing you should show yourself, that you are with one in our desire to protect the republic."

Related: Duterte to soldiers fighting Mautes: No prisoners, kill them all

Before this, the President had tried at least twice to go to Marawi.

In early June he had wanted to go there but was also prevented by bad weather. Before June 30, he mentioned again that he wanted to spend his first year in office at the embattled city, but added he was advised not to announce his whereabouts on that day. He eventually spent the day in his hometown.

Meanwhile, the commander-in-chief repeated that martial law in the south would remain until the situation had become "not critical."

"Ang magsabi sa akin na hindi na critical, ang Armed Forces pati na ang police. I do not have an independent study of what outings are on the ground. It's not my job. I cannot do it, physically even," he said. "Pag sinabi nila, wala nang delikado and everything is okay, then that is the time that I will lift martial law."

[Translation: It's the Armed Forces and the police who could tell me when the situation is not critical anymore. I do not have an independent study of what outings are on the ground. It's not my job. I cannot do it, physically even. If they say there is no more danger and everything is okay, then that is the time I will lift martial law.]

Martial law has a 60-day lifespan. Duterte declared it on May 23 and it would expire on the weekend before he delivers his July 24 state of the nation address (SONA).