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Farewell to Army: Gazmin cites P60-B military upgrade

As he began bidding farewell, outgoing Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin highlighted the Aquino administration’s efforts to modernize the military, which cost  P60 billion in the last six years.

During a testimonial review at the Philippine Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio on Friday, Gazmin stressed the military’s “significant progress” in its capability upgrade and modernization.

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“Like you, as an Army man myself, I am possessed with a high degree of optimism and look up to the accomplishment of Army Vision: By 2028, a world-class Army that is a source of national pride,” the 71-year-old defense secretary said.

Gazmin will be bowing out of the Department of National Defense on June 30 as the Cabinet of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assumes office that day.

He will be replaced by retired military Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, Duterte’s appointee.

After a 32-year military career which ended in his retirement as Army chief in 2000, Gazmin served as ambassador to Cambodia before his appointment as Aquino’s defense secretary in 2010.

In his speech during the Army’s honors for him, Gazmin cited the P60.14 billion which the Aquino administration allocated for the military’s modernization program which also benefited the Army.

Some of the Army’s recent acquisitions were 114 M113A2 armored personnel carriers from the United States, six APCs and four armored recovery vehicles from Israel, 120 field ambulances, mobility trucks, 63,286 M4 assault rifles, and tactical radio equipment.

The outgoing defense secretary noted that the Army will be the beneficiary of future capability upgrades which are in the contract implementation or procurement stage.

He lauded the Army for its accomplishments against communists, terrorist groups and other lawless elements, as well as its role in humanitarian assistance and disaster response during calamities.

His mother unit, he added, was also active in civic projects through its Army engineer brigades engaged in the construction and repairs of roads, school buildings, water systems, electrification platforms, health centers and other infrastructure projects.

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TAGS: Aquino Administration, Fort Bonifacio, Gazmin, Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, Modernization, Philippine Army, Voltaire Gazmin
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