Tag Archives: Armed Forces of the Philippines

Lanao Del Norte Ambush

24 Oct

3 Soldiers were killed in an ambush in Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao Del Norte. according to report posted by Philippine Daily Inquirer on October 23, 2011;

COTABATO City, Philippines—Suspected Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels on Sunday killed three soldiers in an ambush in Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte.

Three soldiers under the military’s 5th Infantry Battalion were wounded in the same incident, Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, told the Inquirer by phone.

Cabangbang said that troops, headed by Lt. Col. Bagnun Gearlan, were heading to the nearby town of Malabang, Lanao del Sur, when they were ambushed around 11:15 a.m. along the highway in the village of Payong in Sultan Naga Dimaporo town.

Cabangbang said the attackers later fled toward the village shoreline.

“We are still trying to figure out if MILF rebels perpetrated the attacks,” Cabangbang said.

Von Al Haq, spokesman for the rebel group, denied that their forces were involved in the latest assault against government troops.

“We are investigating. But as of yesterday (Saturday), the directive to all our forces on the ground is to maintain our defensive position,” he said.

Earlier on October 21, Moro rebels killed seven troops in three ambushes in Zamboanga Sibugay and on October 19, MILF fighters killed 19 soldiers in an ambush they staged in the town of Al Barka in Basilan province.

On Saturday, some 150 suspected MILF rebels reportedly occupied two schools in Talusan town in Zamboanga Sibugay.

In one of the latest eruptions of violence in Mindanao on Sunday, suspected Muslim rebels also killed five rubber plantation workers on Basilan island, according to a report by Agence France Presse.

“Five were killed in this morning’s ambush,” regional military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Cabangbang said, according to the AFP wire report.

So much had happened for the month of October 2011 in mindanao. Last October 3, 2011 the NPA rebels attack the Taganito Mining Site in Surigao, instead of condemning the attacks President Aquino relieved the Police Commanders due to negligence. The NPA next attacked a banana plantation in Surigao the government again called this as an isolated case.

October 18, 2011 carnage of the Military was the most deadliest made by Mindanao rebels, and  MILF followed-up this with the ambush at Zamboanga Sibugay after 2 days. Again the government called this as just an isolated cases, and has yet to issue condemning the ambushes being made by MILF. While the Military was on its low morale the MILF again attacks anew, ambushing a group of soldiers this time at Lanao Del Norte.

The military were being ambush and killed in all fronts and yet the President has yet to issue a statement condemning the attacks because of His policy of peace. Peace talk should be suspended until the MILF has surrendered the culprit.

While the Aquino administration is bent on pursuing lasting peace in Mindanao, He should not let his armed forces be killed, this would just make them demoralized. By issuing statements condemning the attacks made by rebels at least would boost the morale of his men, and not by lashing due to negligence. Our government should make their stand during peace talk negotiations, and the interest of the majority must be the priority and not the MILF’s interest as Mindanao population is not purely Muslims, there are Christians also.

MILF clashes again anew

22 Oct

As the Basilan clash between the military and MILF were still fresh from the minds of the Filipino people, and are still being investigated by the Philippine government, a new bloody encounter has been reported again between the military and the MILF this time it was in Zamboanga Sibugay. This time the casualties are 7 soldiers and policemen and 7 other wounded and 1 soldier reported missing. According to the news posted at Philippine Star website, dated October 22, 2011 ;

MANILA, Philippines – The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) escalated its attacks on government forces, killing seven soldiers and policemen with seven others wounded and another soldier missing in Zamboanga Sibugay late Thursday.

The attacks came two days after MILF forces killed 19 soldiers in Basilan in one of the worst outbreaks of violence that brought the death toll among security forces to 26.

Col. Santiago Baluyot, chief of the Army’s 102nd Brigade, yesterday said the rebels ambushed two military convoys in Barangay Gulayon in Alicia town and a separate attack against a joint military-police patrol in Simbol, Kabasalan town.

Baluyot said the convoy was on its way back to headquarters in Ipil town when it was attacked.

MILF spokesman Von al Haq said the rebels did carry out the assaults, which he said were in retaliation for the military’s alleged “indiscriminate shelling” of Muslim villages.

And Philippine Daily Inquirer’s report posted on its website dated October 22, 2011;

MILF admits killing 7 more troops in 3 attacks

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Seven soldiers and policemen were killed in three separate attacks in Zamboanga Sibugay province late Thursday, bringing to 26 the death toll among government forces in one of the worst outbreaks of violence in strife-torn Mindanao this week.

Ten others were wounded in the attacks, barely two days after 19 soldiers were killed during a fight with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Basilan province.

The MILF immediately admitted that its forces had staged Thursday’s attacks in Alicia and Kabasalan towns, but claimed these were in retaliation for military actions there.

The attacks occurred over a four-hour span within a 60-kilometer radius.

Four soldiers were killed and six wounded in the first ambush which occurred at about 7:21 p.m. in Barangay Gulayon in Alicia town, said Brig. Gen. Santiago Baluyot, commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade.

Two hours later, a soldier was wounded in an MILF ambush on a military truck in Ipil town, and three policemen were killed in a third ambush near midnight in Kabasalan town. Two policemen and one soldier were wounded in the third attack.

“The police and the Army were conducting joint operation in Zamboanga Sibugay,” explained Chief Supt. Elpidio de Asis, the Western Mindanao police chief.

Before the Kabasalan ambush, Baluyot said an improvised bomb exploded in a vacant lot near the port of Malangas but nobody was hurt.

De Asis said a similar explosion also occurred in Imelda town, but no one was injured.

Retaliatory attacks

In Cotabato City, MILF spokesperson Von al Haq said the MILF rebels staged the series of ambushes in Zamboanga Sibugay because the military had been pounding rebel positions in Payao town since Saturday.

“That’s the consequences of their action. It’s retaliation, part of war. Soldiers have been indiscriminately pounding our position and civilian areas in Payao town,” Al Haq said in a phone interview.

However, the attacks on Alicia and Kabasalan, which were led by Alloy, a commander under the MILF’s 114th Base Command, was not coordinated with the MILF central committee, Al Haq said.

“The action of our men was not organizational. It means the order to attack did not come from the central committee. It was their decision,” he said.

Al Haq said the MILF’s ceasefire committee has been working with its government counterpart to defuse the tensions.

On Tuesday, 19 soldiers were killed in a clash with MILF rebels in Al-Barka, Basilan, while on a mission to arrest a local MILF commander, Dan Laksaw Asnawi.

The military had said Asnawi was a fugitive. Asnawi, who operates under the MILF’s 114th Base Command, was charged with involvement in the beheading and mutilation of Marine soldiers, also in Al-Barka, in 2007.

He was arrested but escaped from the Basilan provincial jail, along with more than two dozen inmates, in December 2009.

Military air strikes

In Olutangga, Zamboanga Sibugay, parish priest Fr. Felmar Castrodes said he had been informed by villagers that the military had conducted air strikes against MILF forces in Payao town on Friday.

He said the air strikes started 4 p.m. Friday and were reported to him by residents of the villages bordering Payao and Olutangga towns.

“They feared that the violence would spread to their town,” he said in a text message.

The report could not immediately be verified. The military spokesperson based in Zamboanga City could not be reached for comment.

US drone deployed?

In Cotabato City, United States soldiers stationed in Zamboanga City under the Visiting Forces Agreement have started providing help to the military in locating the MILF rebel group responsible for the deaths of 19 soldiers in Al-Barka, Basilan, a military source said on Friday.

The source, who requested anonymity for lack of authority to speak on the matter, said the US forces have deployed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over Basilan to track down the group of Asnawi.

“They are providing us information from what they obtained through their unmanned aerial vehicle,” the source said.

But Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, has denied the information.

Cabangbang said he was not aware of any request made for the deployment of a UAV in Basilan.

“Besides, it would be useless because of the forest cover. UAVs are effective in open terrain but not over areas that have many trees,” he said.

Cabangbang said any data gathered by a thermal-equipped UAV would be useless because humans have basically the same thermal signature.

“It would not help distinguish who the enemies are and who are not,” he said.

Other MILF groups

Meanwhile, Basilan Vice Gov. Al Rasheed Sakalahul said his office had received information that armed elements from neighboring towns were converging in support of the MILF rebels in Al-Barka.

“These MILF members are from Sumisip, Tuburan and Tipo-tipo,” he said.

Sakalahul also dismissed a statement from Cabangbang that the MILF rebels that had clashed with military troops on Tuesday in Al-Barka might have been reinforced by armed locals.

“It’s not fair, knowing my people, if there’s an encounter, they will make sure they are far from harm, they will secure their lives and properties,” he said.

Despite the consecutive loses from the military forces in just a couple of days, President Benigno S. Aquino III stood firm on his policy not to engage an all-out war against the MILF, and has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to continue observing the ceasefire agreement with the MILF.

The recent attacks prompted lawmakers to review the government’s position on the MILF. Senator Lacson said that President Aquino should consider the all-out war policy against the MILF just like what former President Joseph Estrada did in 2000. As Senator Lacson said ” It’s time for Pnoy to do an Erap. Peace in Mindanao cannot be achieved unless a tactical victory is attained first by AFP”.

Lacson also said that the belligerence of the MILF was brought about by the policy taken by the government to give the organization special treatment as part of the peace process even after it committed various atrocities in the past.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada also called for the immediate use of military force against the MILF considering the damage that they have done over the past days.

Estrada raised his doubts about the sincerity of the MILF in the ongoing peace negotiations after its move to attack government troops.

Administration and opposition lawmakers at the House of Representatives supported Aquino’s decisión not to launch an all-out war against the MILF.

But some warned Aquino against demoralizing the AFP and surrendering the country’s territorial integrity

Sulu Rep. Nur-Ana Sahidulla said the government must continue to reach out to the separatist group despite its reported atrocities as waging an all-out war would pose greater problems.

Maguindanao Rep. Simeon Datumanong said the position taken by Aquino showed his resolve to achieve lasting peace.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. backed the President’s decision but also underscored the need for the government to intensify its campaign against the perpetrators.

“PNoy was correct and I support his decision. We should pursue the peace. But take action against the perpetrators,” Belmonte said.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III said the peace negotiations with the MILF should still be allowed to continue and let the existing ceasefire mechanisms take care of the recent incidents between the MILF and government forces.

Sen. Francis Escudero, for his part, called on the AFP to conduct an immediate and total review of its actual troop strength versus its troop ceiling in the wake of the separate attacks by the MILF.

The fresh fighting has further complicated efforts to end one of Asia’s longest insurgencies, with the MILF and the military accusing each other of breaking a ceasefire in place to promote peace talks.

Guingona said the ceasefire mechanisms should immediately respond to the situation and “address the wrongs of the encounter and make accountable those who made the offense.”

“This kind of tragedy delays the resolution of the peace process. Delays lessen the confidence of the people for the peace process and risk its failure,” Guingona said.

“This could not be allowed to happen because the longer it takes for us to resolve the problem the more violence it breeds. Violence must stop, rule of law and justice should be the order of the day,” he added. Government peace negotiator Leonen said he would not recommend a suspension of the ceasefire agreement with the MILF.

“We are continually assessing how MILF is complying with our ceasefire agreements. As long as there is a flicker of hope, we have to try it. (Otherwise) I would be first to recommend to President Aquino this is not working,” he said.

There are some talks that the military were already demoralized with what the President’s stand and the way he was disappointed with the military with the recent clashes with MILF. Colonel Antonio Parlade, Philippine Army Spokesman, had suggested in a recent press conference that the Government should declare a temporary suspension of the ceasefire agreement with MILF to allow the military to pursue those responsible for the October 18, 2011 encounter in Al Barka, Basilan.

Instead of hearing the side of Colonel Parlade, Colonel Parlade was relieved of his position. President Aquino’s deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said that spokespersons are not supposed to announce their personal opinion to the public. “The fact remains that as spokespersons we are not policy makers… We are suposed to stick to what the policy is. It should be clear that as spokespersons of the government, we cannot give our personal opinion,” Valte said in an interview over state-run radio, Radyo ng Bayan.

According to Colonel Parlade in a phone interview, “I stand by my statement… I was just echoing the sentiments of the soldiers,” adding that his proposal for the suspension of talks with the separatist group was also his personal opinion. Parlade said that he has “no bad feelings” against the military leadership for his relief. Parlade is one of the three military colonels who have been ordered relieved following the killing of the 19 Army Special Forces members in Sitio Bakisung, Barangay Cambug. The other two officials ordered relieved were Col. Alexander Macario, commander of the Special Operations Task Force of the Philippine Army, and Lt. Col. Leo Peña, commanding officer of the 4th Special Forces Battalion. Peña was ordered relieved a day after the encounter. Macario was relieved for allegedly committing “operational lapses.”

So much for a weakling President, being the Commander in Chief, who always prefer to wear yellow of which by the way means Cowardice, who stand by his policies of attaining peace while His men were being killed on all fronts, while the rebels exploits the ceasefire agreement.

Let us just hope that with the recent attacks that happened, General  Mabanta’s word that the military is not demoralized is true and that he speaks with the sentiments of the soldiers and junior officers for they are at the forefront of the battle unlike this General who just sit in the comfort of his air-conditioned room while the lives of his men are on the line.

And here’s also hoping that the coup de etat’s that happened during the first Aquino administration would not happen in the second Aquino administration.

To all our Soldiers, stay safe always.

Benigno S. Aquino III, Speech at the 63rd Anniversary of PAF 2010

8 Oct

Speech of His Excellency

Benigno S. Aquino III

President of the Philippines

at the 63rd Anniversary of the Philippine Air Force

[July 5, 2010, Camp Jesus Villamor]

Kalihim Gazmin, Lt. Gen. Rabena, men and women of the Philippine Air Force:

Noong Biyernes, ipinaabot ko sa buong Hukbong Sandatahan ng Pilipinas ang mga layunin ng aking administrasyon ukol sa pambansang seguridad. Nagsisimula ito sa wastong oriyentasyon ng mga namumuno, sibilyan man o militar: propesyonalismo at integridad, disiplina at kagitingan, at pagkakasundo sa stratehiyang masusunod.

Sa stratehiyang ito, kailangang makilahok ang lahat ng sektor, kasama na rin ang pangangalaga ng mga karapatan ng sambayanan. Sa paraang ito, makakamit natin ang pagnanais ng lahat na magkaroon ng makabuluhang reporma ng mga proseso at patakaran.

Ngayon gusto kong ipaabot sa inyo ang aking mga layunin para sa ating Hukbong Himpapawid. Katulad ng sinabi ko sa buong AFP, marami tayong hinaharap na pagsubok. Limitado ang magagastos natin, ngunit marami ang kailangan nating gawin.

Paano natin, paano ninyo, magagawa ang mga ito? Kailangan natin sundin ang konsepto ng propesyonalismo at utilitarianismo: ang mga repormang itataguyod natin ay kailangang magsimula sa layunin na ito na makadudulot ng kaginhawaan sa buong Hukbong Himpapawid at hindi para sa iilan lamang. Ang pundasyon ng lahat ng ito ay ang layunin ng ating administrasyon na palaguin ang ating ekonomiya, kung saan kailangan natin ng kapayapaan at katahimikan.

Habang mayroon kayong pananagutan sa inyong mga pinuno, sila naman ay nananagutan sa mga sibilyan na opisyal. Ito ay dahil ang totoong commander-in-chief nating lahat ay ang sambayanang Pilipino. Ang inyong chain-of-command ay hindi nagwawakas sa akin, dahil ako din ay may pananagutan sa sambayanan.

Kaya kahit ang aking pagnanais ay maayos ng inyong mga hanay ang inyong mga hinaharap na problema, kailangan din maging malinaw sa ating lahat, na ang ultimong silbi ay hindi lamang nakatakda sa wastong pamamalakad ng Hukbong Himpapawid: kasama na rin dito ang tapat na paglilingkod ng PAF sa buong bayan. Nagiging malinaw na malinaw ito sa panahon ng kalamidad.

Ang inyong mga pang-militar na operasyon ay natatabunan ng pangangailangan – at ng mga inaasahan – ng sambayanan na kayo ang isa sa mga napakahalaga at epektibong taga-bigay ng saklolo sa mga kababayan natin na nasa panganib.

Ang inyong tungkulin pagdating sa territorial defense at sa disaster response, ay dalawang bahagi ng inyong misyon sa pambansang kaunlaran.

Ang mga istatistika na isinusumite ninyo, ay nagpapakita ng mga kailangan pa nating maisagawa. Kailangan nating pagaralan at planuhin kung paano mabibilisan ang ating facility readiness para higit pa itong tumaas. Gayundin ang readiness rate sa Command, na siyang tataas kung matatapos natin ang on-base housing project. Kasama na rin dito ang pinaplano at pinipresenta na pag-upgrade sa mga makina, pagbili ng mga bagong air assets, at surveillance equipment upang magawa ninyo ang inyong trabaho. Kailangan ding punan ang kakulangan sa iba pang logistical at maintenance requirements upang makamit ninyo ang inyong mga misyon at kinakailangang flight hours.

Naniniwala ako na sa tuwid na pamamalakad ni Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena, na matagal ring namahala sa Plans and Programs ng AFP at sanay sa pagtugon sa ganitong mga suliranin, ay maisasakatuparan din ang aking mga inilahad sa inyo.

The foundation of the morale and esprit de corps of any military organization is a merit-based officer corps, issuing clear orders that comply with both the spirit and letter of the law. The effectiveness of any military organization is dependent on officers and men and women having full faith and confidence that they will be provided the means to do their job: from arms and equipment to homes and health care. The proper relationship between civilians and the military exists where there is trust, and that trust depends on strategic harmony.

My fundamental philosophy is there cannot be right solutions without the corresponding correct identification of the problems. Secretary Gazmin is undertaking, at my direction, a comprehensive review of the many aspects of our national defense with this orientation in mind. I want you to know that if my expectations of you are high, it is because I know that our people’s expectations of all of us are the highest. I will not make false promises to you or tell you things simply for the sake of making positive headlines.

On this, your anniversary, what I want you to know is this: your president and your countrymen are proud of the work you are doing. Sa eleksiyon, ginampanan ninyo ang inyong tungkulin ng walang pamumulitika. Kung anong kagitingan ang ipinapakita ninyo sa mga combat operations, yun din ang ipinapakita ninyong malasakit sa panahon ng kalamidad. Keep it up.

Nagagalak ako na ang isang bahagi ng anibersaryo na ito ay ang pagbibigay ng mga komendasyon at awards sa mga miyembro ng inyong hanay, na nagpakita ng kagalingan at abilidad. This is what the PAF is about: whatever the odds, it is to defend your country and people with the valor and dash of Jesus Villamor. I salute you.

Mabuhay ang Hukbong Himpapawid! Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Benigno S. Aquino III, Speech at AFP Change of Command Ceremony 2010

8 Oct

Speech of His Excellency

Benigno S. Aquino III

President of the Philippines

Upon the Assumption of Command of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

[July 2, 2010, Camp Aguinaldo]

Ito ang unang pagkakataon kong makasama kayo bilang inyong Pangulo at inyong commander-in-chief. Ngunit noong Miyerkules, natanggap ko na ang inyong unang parangal: hindi lang ako, kundi ang buong sambayanan ay nagalak sa propesyonalismo, disiplina, at kurtesiyang inialay ninyo hindi lang sa akin, kundi sa buong bansa.

I commend all of you: officers and men and women of our Armed Forces, for the dedication to duty you displayed during the last elections. Kayo ang tagapagtanggol ng ating estado: ito ay nakasaad sa ating Saligang Batas. Karapat-dapat lamang na ang unang pahayag ko sa inyo bilang inyong Pangulo ay ang pagpapaabot ng pasasalamat ng sambayanang Pilipino sa pagganap ninyo ng inyong mga tungkulin sa nakaraang kampanya at halalan: wala kayong kinilingan kundi ang mamamayang Pilipino. Wala kayong piniling panig kundi ang pagpapalakas lamang ng ating demoksraya.

Sa araw na ito, nais ko kayong kausapin nang tapat at nang walang paliguy-ligoy. Marami tayong haharapin na pagsubok. Alam ko na pinakinggan niyo ang aking Inaugural Address at alam na ninyo na malapit kayo sa aking isipan. Makakaasa kayo na ang inyong mga pangangailangan ay tututukan ng aking administrasyon.

Katulad ng sinabi ko noong Miyerkules, nagsisimula ang wastong pamumuno sa pagpili ng mga wastong pinuno. Our Constitution explicitly provides for civilian authority over the military. That is why your commander-in-chief is a civilian, and his alter ego for the Department of Defense is one, too. This is why the Secretary of National Defense, while a distinguished veteran officer, has spent ample time in civilian life. This is also why your senior officers must undergo confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Congress.

Within the Armed Forces, there is a structure that places a general officer at the head of the officer corps together with your major service commanders. This is why we have a chief of staff who is appointed by the commander-in-chief.

Noong Hunyo 29, aking ipinakilala si retired Lt. Gen. Voltaire Gazmin bilang aking Secretary of National Defense, at si Lt. Gen. Ricardo David bilang susunod na AFP chief of staff. Nandito tayo ngayon upang saksihan ang assumption of command ni General David, at upang ipaabot ko sa kaniya, at sa inyo, ang mga magiging patakaran ng ating pamahalaan.

I expect of you professionalism, integrity, discipline, valor, and hard work. You can expect the same of me.

Ang inyong propesyonalismo – ang pagsusunod sa mga utos na legal, sa wastong paraan ng walang pasubali – ay posible lamang kung nagsisimula ang propesyonalismong ito sa mga hanay ng inyong Pangulo at mga heneral. Wala akong duda na nais ng ating officer corps na panatilihin ang kanilang integridad. Makakasiguro kayong lahat na ang inyong Pangulo at ang ating Kalihim Gazmin ay hindi gagamitin ang sistema ng pagpili at pagpromote upang pairalin ang pansariling interes.

Ang iba sa ating mga officers na kamakailan lamang ay hindi nakaabot sa deadline ng Commission of Appointments, ay makakasiguro na ang kanilang mga promotion ay isusumiteng muli sa simula ng sesyon ng Kongreso. Katulad ng sinabi ko noong Pangulong-halal na ako, sisiguraduhin lang natin na basta’t dumaan sa wastong proseso ang mga promosyong ito, ipapadala natin ang mga ito sa lehislatura.

Ngunit kahit nakatanggap na ang inyong mga koronel at heneral ng karapat-dapat na promosyon, kung ang ating mga kawal ay kulang sa kagamitan, benepisyo at tirahan, wala sa atin ang makakagawa ng ating mga tungkulin.

Alam nating lahat na kakambal ng isang masiglang ekonomiya ang kapayapaan at seguridad. Without stability we cannot expect people to invest in our country. Achieving and maintaining stability is your obligation. Ngunit, naiintindihan ko na mahirap itong makamit hangga’t hindi sapat sa kagamitan at kaalaman ng ating hukbong sandatahan. Hangga’t hindi natutugunan ang mga pangangailangan ng bawat sundalo, paano matutugunan ng bawat sundalo ang pangangailangan ng sambayanan?

Tell us what you need and we will give it to you, as long as they are based on principles of professionalism and utilitarianism; as long as they will benefit the whole institution and not only the interests of a few. If we use and allocate our resources efficiently, we will not only be able to improve the well-being of our armed forces but also that of our citizenry. With a livelier and more responsive economy, we will be able to further address your needs.

Kaya inatasan ko si Secretary Gazmin na siguraduhin na ang modernisasyon ng ating hukbong sandatahan ay hindi lamang maitutuloy, kundi higit na magiging instrumento pa para sa pagpapatibay at pagpapalakas ng inyong pagmamahal at pagsisilbi sa sambayanan. Kasama na dito ang pagpapalawak ng inyong hanay, dahil habang dumoble na ang ating populasyon, nanatili pa rin ang inyong bilang. Sibilyan man o militar, hindi kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino. Uulitin ko ang sinabi ko sa bayan at sa mundo: hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Therefore, the things I expect of you, and which you can expect of your commander-in-chief, are things necessary to undertake the modernization of our armed forces. If all of us follow the rules, and insist on professionalism, integrity is enhanced. If we undertake our tasks with discipline, we can confront all challenges with the valor the history of our country has proven we all have. If we all work hard, we can find creative solutions to our problems, assured of strategic harmony within the armed forces, and between the civilians and the military.

I say strategic harmony because we must confront the reality that over the past years, strategy took a back seat to tactical considerations. I believe that the military functions best when the civilian and military leadership all share a clear understanding of the national security, and have crafted a clear plan which in turn can properly inform tactical decisions.

Ang ating bagong chief of staff ay nagpatunay na ang mga konsiderasyong ito ay maisusulong niya anuman ang pagsubok na haharapin.

We will need the experience, the expertise, and known probity of General Ricardo David, who shares my view that our national security objectives should be a multi-stakeholder effort focused on protecting our rights and civil liberties. He brings with him years of experience as NOLCOM commander which, I am confident, will likewise benefit the rest of the nation, not just Luzon.

In General David, I expect not only decisive leadership, but an innovative spirit that would drive reform in the Armed Forces, as well as the effective and efficient realization of the national defense and security thrusts that I have just outlined. I ask everyone to support your new chief of staff, to follow the chain of command and to look forward to proud and glorious days ahead.

As our country suffered, so have our soldiers, and the situation could only worsen unless priorities are met. Simple problems and deficiencies have compounded over the years due to corruption, which our administration has vowed to stop. I expect the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines to be the vanguard of the government’s quest to reform itself, to clean up its own backyard and to serve as the model and inspiration for other government agencies.

With your long tradition of sustaining the high military ideals of honor and discipline, sacrifice and dedication to serve the people and country, I am certain that the Armed Forces will once again take the lead in delivering our country and our people lasting peace and stability, development and social progress.

Men and women of the armed forces: to adopt the words of Winston Churchill, I will give you the tools to do your job. I will hold all of you to the highest standards not because I doubt you, but precisely because I have the fullest confidence in all of you. You have done well and will do even better; I will be fair, just, and supportive. I expect you to be the same. Our people expect no less of all of us, and I know that you will further consecrate yourselves to defending our democracy, and that you will fight for our Republic, for the liberty and prosperity of our people.

Sa ating kasundaluhan, kasama ninyo ako sa adhikaing magkaroon ng repormang makabuluhan, makatao, maka-diyos at maka-bayan.

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat! Mabuhay ang Hukbong Sandatahan ng Sambayanang Pilipino!