Aquino lauds AFP, bids farewell
Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III recognized the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) at his last military event as commander in chief of the 125,000-strong force.
“Dahil sa ambag ng bawat isa sa inyo, nakatatak na ngayon sa sambayanang Pilipino ang unipormadong hanay na talagang masasandalan at maasahan, lalo na sa mga panahon ng pangangailangan. Sa araw-araw na ginawa ng Diyos, ipinapamalas ninyo ang diwa at tunay na ibig sabihin ng salitang ‘dedikasyon,’” he said in his address.
(Because of the contribution of each one of you, it is etched in the minds of the Filipino nation that uniformed personnel are reliable and dependable, especially in times of need. In every single day that God has made, you embodied the essence and meaning of the word “dedication.”)
The AFP held a testimonial parade and review for Aquino on Monday at Camp Aguinaldo, to express their gratitude for his efforts to modernize the military.
“Gaano man kahirap ang tungkulin, anumang kagamitan ang hawak ninyo, ni minsan, hindi ako nakarinig sa inyo ng palusot o pagdadahilan. Bagkus, lagi ninyo itong taas-noong hinaharap, at isinasagad ang inyong kakayahan para magampanan ang trabaho,” Aquino said.
(No matter how tough your duty is, whatever equipment you have, there was not a single instance that I heard you making excuses. Instead, with head held high, you exert your full capabilities to fulfill your work.)
The President said that during his six-year term, 70 AFP modernization projects worth P65.89 billion were completed, way more than the P31.75 billion worth of 45 military capability projects from the previous three administrations combined.
“Sa madaling salita po, nadoble natin ang pondo, one third, o sa isang katlo lang ng panahong inabot—ang panahon nating naabutan kung ikukumpara sa labing-walong tao ng naunang tatlong administrasyon (In other words, we doubled the funds, one-third of the time passed on to us compared to the 18 years of the three previous administrations),” he said.
“Sa tamang pamamahala, at tamang paglalaan ng pondo, naging makasaysayan ang modernisasyon ninyo. Yung ilang mga dating pinapangarap lang natin, tangan na natin ngayon. Ang maganda pa hindi lang kayo tumatanggap ng biyaya mula sa estado, sinusuklian ninyo ito ng karampatang serbisyo. Sa huli, naging virtuous cycle ito; nagtutulungan ang lahat, at sa dulo, Pilipino ang panalo,” he added.
(With the right administration and appropriate allocation of funds, your modernization became historic. We now hold the things we just once dreamed of. The great thing about here is you not only received blessings from the state, you gave back through your service. In the end, it became a virtuous cycle, everyone helped each other and in the end, the Filipino people won.)
Aquino is leaving a grateful military for modernizing their capabilities in the past six years.
“Alam nating lahat na ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas ay mistulang napagiwanan na ng ating kapitbahay pagdating sa paggamit ng makabagong kagamitan at teknoloyiha, ang totoo nga nyan kadalasan ay nanindigan na lamang ang ating mga hukbo sa angking tapang at galing ng ating mga sundalo dahil sa kakulangan ng kagamitan,” said acting AFP chief Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda in his remarks.
(We all know that the Armed Forces of the Philippines seemed to have been left behind by other countries in terms of modernized equipment and technology, the truth is most of the times, our army has just stood by the courage and skills of our soldier due to lack of equipment.)
He said the simple sendoff ceremony was their way of expressing their gratitude to their commander in chief.
“Thank you for enabling our forces through our revised AFP modernization program and thank you for trusting us to regain our strength and stand our opportunity and to transform ourselves into the service of our country and the people,” Miranda said. RAM
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