Seventy-four years ago,
the first President of the Philippine Republic, General Emilio
Aguinaldo, with the birth of our nation, created what is now the
Armed Forces of the Philippines. Today, as we stand on this hollowed
ground upon whose honor this camp is named, we your Armed Forces,
continue to commit to the same ideals and values by which our
country, and our Armed Forces were born. It is with this sense of
history that I assume with great pride, and with even greater
humility, the position of the 42nd Chief of Staff of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines.
I bring into this office
my eternal gratitude to our Commander in Chief, His Excellency
President Benigno S. Aquino III, and our Defense Secretary, the
Honorable Voltaire T. Gazmin, for the trust and confidence, and for
making me a key player in the crusade for good governance, ever
mindful of the President’s expectations for the Armed Forces to be
not only the protector of our people, but the showcase of a clean
and honest administration.
Mahal na Pangulo, kasama
niyo kami sa pagtahak ng matuwid na daan.
I bring into this office
my gratefulness to the men and women of the Armed Forces, for the
team spirit; from the youngest soldiers, represented here by Private
Glorioso de Dios and Airwoman Christine Teodoro, who both at age 18,
have decided to serve the nation, (please stand up to be
recognized); to the oldest, Chief Petty Officer Erwin Pelaez,
representing others who will soon retire, leaving a legacy of
selfless service to our people.
I bring into this office the love and support of my family and
friends, especially that of my wife, Toton, my son Tobit, and my
mother, Elvira—I assure you that as Chief of Staff, you have not
lost me, but rather, you have just gained a bigger family of more
than 120,000 servicemen.
And I bring into this office my faith and fear in our Lord, by whose
Grace and Divine Providence I take on this stewardship, and who,
when my time is up, shall judge me not by what I have made of
myself, but by what I have made of His people.
I shall discharge my functions with three basic tenets from where
all other policy guidance will flow.
First and foremost, we shall sustain the reform initiatives laid
down by those who came before me, most particularly General Ricardo
A. David Jr., and implement fully the findings of the 2005 Feliciano
Commission, so that the vestiges of the past will not reappear to be
as if it is of the present. We shall have nothing to fear if we have
nothing to hide.
In this I recite my pledge;
I pledge to strengthen the procurement process and ensure
accountability of every resource manager in the Armed Forces. We
shall strive to fully computerize the procurement system where every
transaction can be fully documented and accessed. We shall push for
amendments in the Government Procurement Reform Act that will allow
the application of new systems, like purchase cards where
transactions leave indelible credit trails.
I pledge to safeguard funds from all sources, including that of
Balikatan and the United Nations, and especially those coming from
our taxes, the blood and sweat of our people, and I shall hold
myself accountable for their proper and effective utilization. We
shall strengthen institutional checks and balances between program
directors and program administrators; between budget officers and
procurement officers, and undertake unannounced audits more
And I pledge to strengthen enforcement and prosecution of those who
are not willing to work on the same pledge.
In every activity of the Armed Forces, we shall remove the two basic
conditions that breed corruption—opportunity and motivation. By
further strengthening our systems and procedures that shall ensure
accountability of every resource, and by promoting a culture that
will encourage every soldier not to tolerate corrupt practices, we
shall overcome. By discouraging material gain as a measure of
success, and encouraging a simple and healthy lifestyle, yes, we
My fellow servicemen, we need to strengthen our organization because
the tasks that lie ahead require the full and effective application
of our resources. Winning and keeping the peace is no easy task. I
shall focus on the road map provided me by General David, the IPSP
[Internal Peace and Security Plan] Bayanihan. We are inspired by the
fact that Bayanihan simply taps into the Filipino way of life, that
has moved our nipa huts of long ago to better places that has
planted our rice fields in the same spirit of cooperation that has
brought forth unto our people a sense of nation.
At dahil lahat tayo ay gusto ng kapayapaan, lahat tayo ay dapat
magbayanihan. Sawa na ang taongbayan sa insurgency, sa terorismo, sa
mga bandido at mga tulisan. Sobra na. Subukan na nating mamuhay nang
mapayapa. At dahil lahat tayo kasama sa IPSP Bayanihan, we will win
the peace in every turn. Wala tayong hindi magagawa kung ang ating
bansa ay sama-sama.
And in our primary role of ensuring the defense of our country, we
shall sustain all efforts to modernize our Armed Forces. Even as I
speak, Philippine Navy officers are now in the United States of
America preparing to sail our first Hamilton-class navy ship to the
Philippines. This would impact on our capability for maritime
security. Within my watch, the Air Force will accept delivery of the
final batch of basic trainer aircraft, the initial batch of combat
utility helicopters, and the completion of the depot maintenance of
one C-130. These translate to training enhancement and boost to air
mobility, while Marine troopers await the arrival of 1¼-ton and
2¼-ton trucks, certainly improving their ground mobility.
In all our endeavors, we shall leverage on the greatest strength of
the Armed Forces, at ito ang ating kasundaluhan, kayo na nakaparada
ngayon sa aming harapan, at lalo na ang mga naka-duty ngayon sa
buong kapuluan, for in us belong the best in soldiers, sailors, and
airmen, never wanting in talent and dedication, multi-skilled,
multilingual, much more than many of our counterparts. We shall
sustain professional growth by continuous training and exposure,
both unilaterally and with our allies, and support their morale and
welfare in terms of housing and other benefits. Kami ay
nagpapasalamat sa ating Pangulo at Pangalawang Pangulo sa 20,000
housing units na inyong ipinagkaloob sa ating kasundaluhan. We shall
speed up the process so that they can be awarded to deserving
beneficiaries at the soonest possible time. Tunay na mahalaga po sa
At sa loob ng ating mga kampo, pagtutuunan natin ng pansin ang mga
commissary and exchanges, kung saan ang murang grocery items at iba
pang basic commodities ay malaking tulong sa family budget ng
sundalo. Pagagandahin natin itong tulad ng isang tunay na SM,
Soldier’s Mall, at pag-iibayuhin ang serbisyong hatid nito sa atin.
Truly, by providing low-cost housing and an inexpensive source of
our groceries and daily needs, we can increase the purchasing power
of our salaries and sustain a decent and comfortable standard of
We are proud to be part of the bigger family of government under our
President and Commander in Chief, whose various branches work day-in
and day-out to deliver basic services, knowing fully well that love
of country does not consist of a single burst of heroics, but rather
the day-to-day grind until one’s work is done.
We share the dreams of our nation, a country at peace and a people
with freedom from want.
But we do know that our dreams won’t work unless we do. While
awaiting the fruits of our modernization, we shall work with what
we’ve got. Just like the biblical David, to our very own General
Ricardo David Jr., I say again, we shall work with what we’ve got.
When the Lord asked David to slay Goliath, all he had was a
slingshot and two stones. He worked with what he’s got, and he
defeated the enemy. But perhaps, the reason why David succeeded was
that he looked at Goliath not as an adversary too big to defeat, but
as a target too large to miss.
My fellowmen, winning the peace gives us a target that is too hard
to miss. Let us all buckle down to work and let us begin right now.
Mabuhay ang kawal Pilipino!
Mabuhay and Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas!
Mabuhay ang lahing Pilipino!
Maraming salamat po, at magandang umaga sa inyong lahat!
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