Serve only 1 boss, AFP told



MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Friday outlined the role in a democratic society of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)  on its 77th founding anniversary:  “defend the nation and serve only one Boss—the people, nothing else.”

In a speech in Filipino at Camp Aguinaldo, Mr. Aquino noted that the AFP on his watch had brought back “discipline, dedication and loyalty to flag and country.”

This, the President pointed out, “mirrored our determination to enlist soldiers who will continue to fulfill the mandate of the AFP.”

“Preserve the long tradition of honor, integrity and service of the armed forces,” he said. “Don’t stray from the straight path, remain as allies and refuge of the needy, remain as heroes and saviors of the people.”

The President said he expected new and modern military hardware with P75 billion in modernization fund for the next five years,after he signed on Dec. 11 the New AFP Modernization Act.

He said the AFP’s founding anniversary this year was “more meaningful” because of this act that would create a “stronger and more reliable” military force.

However, he said that soldiers would not only be indispensable in search, rescue and relief operations during calamities. Their role would span from disaster preparedness to response to post-disaster rehabilitation, he said.

Peace dividends

The President also said he expected the “spread of peace” to once war-torn areas with the signing of the framework agreement on Bangsamoro with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the 40-year rebellion in Mindanao.

“We are aware of the huge role to be performed by the AFP in managing the transition of this peace initiative,” Mr. Aquino said, referring to the creation of an autonomous Bangsamoro territory to replace the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Although threats from “bad elements” lurked in the horizon, the country was relatively peaceful the past year, said the President.

He cited a 23 percent decrease in incidents related to the communist insurgency, one of the major security threats in the country today. He said the AFP conducted 200 tactical operations against insurgents, made 115 arrests and caused the surrender of 220 guerrillas.

No longer a ‘pitiful cowboy’

He vowed that the troops would not return to barracks “so long as there are families caught in these senseless crossfire.”

“Because of your sacrifices, you can count on the continued support of the government and the people. Since the needs of the troops are taken care of immensely, I will not wonder if next year the AFP will be accused of being ‘spoiled’ in treading the straight path,” he said to applause from the top brass seated at the grandstand.

“From a ‘pitiful cowboy,’ we are molding the AFP into a more modern and reliable defense force,” he said, citing the purchase of refurbished Hamilton-class cutters renamed BRP del Pilar and BRP Alcaraz (to be delivered soon) and the acquisition of locally made landing craft utility, BRP Tagbanua, among others.

As for the Air Force, its infamy as “all air but no force” would come to an end, he said.

“Prepare the tarmac for new planes that will take to the skies,” he said.

“Gone are the days when the Navy troops were more worried about the tetanus from rusty ships than foreign invaders. Prepare the ports for the modern and quality ships of the Navy that will defend our coast. It’s time to retire the antique trucks of the Army; not for long, you will ride in faster and newer tanks, trucks and ambulances,” he said.

“Of course, you will use quality weapons and force protection equipment to take Filipinos out of harm’s way,” he said.

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  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    “the people” it could be the people of the philippines or the people of………

  • EdgarEdgar

    If Noynoy truly meant what he said, why is he turning a blind eye on the death of Jonas Burgos and the botanist Leonard Co who both died in the hands of the military?

    Or dead bosses don’t count?

    • Rosauro

      No basis your honor!

      • EdgarEdgar

        PDI disagrees with you. PDI indicted Noynoy on both counts. On the matter of the botanist Leonard Co, you may refer to PDI’s editorial yesterday. On the matter of Jonas Burgos, you may refer to PDI’s editorial sometime within the last two weeks. It does appear you have been skipping the broadsheets lately.

      • Mosrael

        I agree with you regarding Leonard Co, but there is something odd about Jonas Burgos’s case. For one thing, Mrs. Burgos keeps changing her story and accusing every person left and right — previous chief of staffs, the previous ISAFP chief and almost every other officer she can think of. But for the past few years, she’s been singling out Gen. Ano, who has no proven direct link to the case, right when he’s gaining power. Ask yourself: who is feeding Mrs. Burgos all these names and exploiting a mother’s grief for shameless politicking?

      • jane sergio

        ang statement din kaxe pabago bago kaya nakakalito hoping na lalabas din ang katotohan.. sa tamang proseso

    • nrcarcht

      Sometimes in the struggle of democracy, collateral damage cannot be prevented.

  • $37644997

    I don’t intend to become a perfectionist but rather stick to some mistakes as long as I’m aware of it and soon to be corrected as long as I live.
    I hope and pray that there will be another 75 billion peso budget for the next five years intented solely for people who worries to much for their next day meal.

  • wawa2172

    Hmm..whose people bsssing Noy?  the Cojuangco-Aquino people, the LP people, the KKK. Well election time and Pnoy knows it best to protect his people and votes. That he reminds the AFP. 

  • batangsulpok

    Ang kailangang mabawasan kundi man mawala ay ang corruption sa AFP dahil mabibilang mo sa daliri na ang yayaman ng mga Heneral pag nag-retire.

  • $20722540

    tama dapat isang boss lang, kaya lang yong nagsalita walang credibility hindi marunong sumunod sa boss niya  na taong bayan – siya ang nagniyan.

  • Pers

    The hamilton class is not a war ship, pnoy  is very proud of acquiring this ship. the implementation of modernization is moving like slow as a turtle.The modernization law just passed but there are fund in  which the past administration declared failure of bidding like attack helicopter.The commander in chief is more talking than doing.

    • akongednamzug

      Ano ba ang hamilton class? ito ba ay isang cargo ship?

      • Loggnat

        It’s used was a Coast Guard coastal defense ship, ie. intercepting smugglers, sea rescue missions, and also has the capability as a component of an air defense system if armed with  anti-aircraft missiles. I think. :)

      • nrcarcht

        The government is also looking into of of arming the said ships with harpoon anti-ship missile.

    • Nagagalitna

      Tama ka its not a warship kasi gamit sya ng coast guard…BUT the ship has the capability to protect any entruder…at lalo pa ito dinagdagan ng armas para lalong kapakipakinabang.

  • TulisangDagat

    at least there is hope ……..

  • $14334231

    could this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship between the people of the philippines and the AFP???…i hope it comes to realization…. i can assure you that i will respect the military personnel from hereon in if there is truth to what penoy had said……..Merry Christmas Everyone…..may we all have a peaceful holiday season and a wonderful and bountiful New Year!!!!!…..

  • opinyonlangpo

    It is still a dream and yet to be fulfilled. Aside from a strong military, they should also try to earn the respect of the people.

  • salomeahmad

    Typical politician’s pep talk. Wishful thinking, subject to the reality of availability of funds.

  • jane sergio

    “Preserve the long tradition of honor, integrity and service of the armed forces,” he said. “Don’t stray from the straight path, remain as allies and refuge of the needy, remain as heroes and saviors of the people.”
    eto ung pinakadabest line ni P-Noy

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