MANILA – Exactly 100 days on Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino will step down as the AFP Commander in Chief, leaving a remarkable achievement in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program that surpassed his government target and eclipsed what had achieved by his three predecessors.
”It just want to point out: This AFP modernization has not only surpassed what we have been expecting for the last six years; it also surpassed the achievements of the last three administration before me,” President Aquino said in his speech during the 119th anniversary of the Philippine Army at the Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
The President said his administration had inherited too many problems but through his Daang Matuwid (straight path) governance, he will leave a better and stronger armed forces ready to serve the Filipino people, particularly during calamities.
”You have witnessed the modernization that took place in the Philippine Army. You can say what kind of capability you have now because we jointly pushed this kind of transformation,” the President said.
Under his administration, President Aquino said the AFP was able to implement 68 big ticket projects worth Php58.43 billion “to strengthen the capability, knowledge and readiness of the Philippine Army.”
For the future, President Aquino said an Army Transformation Roadmap 2010-2028 has been laid down to further strengthen and make effective the governance of the Army.
”Abangan na lang po ninyo mula sa inyong mga pinuno at commanders ang iba pang makabuluhang kagamitang mapapasakamay ninyo sa nalalapit na panahon,” President Aquino said.
Aside from modern military equipment, the President said his administration has also gave incentives for the military such as 61,000 housing units, livelihood programs, Php2.35 billion worth of uniforms, and health benefits.
President Aquino said his administration also increased monthly combat pay, subsistence allowance, hazard pay and even provisional allowance and officers’ allowance.
”Mga kasama, hayaan ninyong bigyan ko ng diin: Nagawa natin ang lahat ng ito nang hindi nagpapataw ng karagdagang pabigat sa ating mga kababayan. Sa totoo lang, nabigyang daan ang kaunlaran dahil sa pakikibalikat ninyo at dahil ginawa natin ang tama,” the President said.
”Tunay ngang makakamit lang ang katiwasayan at positibong transpormasyon, kung merong kaayusan at estabilidad. Maliwanag po: Dahil ginagampanan ninyo ang inyong mandato, dahil tumototoo kayo sa motto na “Serving the People, Securing the Land,” talaga namang ang layo na ng ating narating,” he added.
In the forthcoming May 9 elections, the President urged the military not to get involved in politics and make sure that the united voice of the nation marching the route of democracy will be achieved.
The President acknowledged the rules of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri, PA Commanding General Eduardo Ano and the rest of the military officials for their dedicated services to the Filipino nation. Jelly Musico/PNA / northboundasia.com