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Aquino faces the PH Navy for the last time as Commander in Chief

/ 08:07 PM June 01, 2016

ABOARD BRP TARLAC—For the last time as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III faced the Philippine Navy on Wednesday on its 118th anniversary.

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The President said he would not forget the past six years as the military’s Commander in Chief.

“Halos anim na taon din tayong nagsilbi bilang Ama ng Bayan, at inyong punong komandante. Hanggang sa mga huling araw ko, talagang hindi ko malilimutan ang panahong ito, kung saan tumindig ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas, at nagpamalas ng di matatawarang serbisyo at malasakit sa kapwa at bayan … Sa inyong lahat: Isang napakalaking karangalan ang pamunuan kayo,” he said in his speech.

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The Philippine Navy anniversary was held aboard its newest and largest ship, the BRP Tarlac. It was formally commissioned to service before the ceremonies.

The President recalled that one of the first challenges when he assumed office were the tensions in Korean Peninsula in 2010.

“Isa sa mga unang krisis na ating hinarap bilang Pangulo ay ang namumuong tensyon sa Korean peninsula noong 2010. Bunga ito ng paglubog ng isang South Korean ship, pati na ng diumano’y pagkanyon sa isa sa kanilang mga isla. Ang naging hamon sa atin: Nasa 50,000 ang mga kababayan natin doon ang kailangang ilayo sa peligro,” Aquino said.

Back then, the only assets that the Philippines could use were its lone C-130 of the Air Force and a ship that could accommodate 1,000 people.

“Ang punto lang po ng kuwentong ito: Hindi madali ang sitwasyong dinatnan natin sa Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas at ng buong Sandatahang Lakas. Napakabigat ng atas ng sambayanan sa inyong serbisyo; subalit tila napabayaan kayo ng sinundan nating gobyerno. Tayo naman, hindi kinailangang maging unipormado, para malaman ang mga kakulangan sa inyong mga sasakyan at kagamitan, pati na ang iba pa ninyong mga pangangailangan,” he said.

Aquino took pride that after six years, the military was able to strengthen its capabilities.

“Nabigyang-lakas na natin ang inyong hanay. Pinasigla natin ang inyong surface fleet, gumanda na ang ating air arm, binubuhay na natin ang antisubmarine capability; at ang lahat ng ito, nagagamit na natin sa national security operations,” he said.

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Aquino said that since July 2010, the AFP Modernization and Capability Upgrade Program had released P60.14 billion and completed 68 projects.

The needs of the personnel had also been addressed: the increase of monthly hazard pay, provisional allowance and officers’ allowance, as well as the housing program.

The President also thanked the Navy chiefs during his term.

“Sa pagtatapos ng ating termino, talagang masasabi kong suwerte ako sa lahat ng naitalaga nating flag officer in command. Mula kay Rear Adm. Danilo Cortez, Vice Adm. Alexander Pama, Vice Adm. Jose Luis Alano, Vice Adm. Jesus Millan, hanggang kay Vice Adm. Caesar Taccad—lahat sila, sa bawat misyong ating itinatalaga, parating listo at maaasahan. Kailanman, di ako hinarap nang may bitbit na puro palusot at pagdadahilan,” he said.

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TAGS: Benigno Aquino III, BRP Tarlac, Philippine Navy
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