Pres. Duterte pitches for common good at PMA homecoming

BAGUIO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday his administration continues to work to uplift the living conditions of Filipinos as he promised to uphold the common good.

In a speech during the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming 2017 held at Fort Del Pilar here, the President said that as an immigrant from Visayas to Mindanao, he and his family hoped for a better life in the so-called ‘Land of Promise’.

He however lamented that it is now threatened by climate change caused by man, for instance, extractive industries.

“The rest of the nation is threatened by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, crime, corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs,” President Duterte said.

“Government must now deliver goods and services to really serve the people, not just the interest of the few. In the past, our government was on the verge of failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions, which favored only themselves.”

As part of his commitment during his first State of the Nation Address, the President said his administration is working to ensure that basic human services are available to all, that there is food and medicine, water and sanitation, shelter, public safety, education, and economic opportunities.

President Duterte vowed to always uphold the sanctity of the common good as the highest goal that always benefits the next generation of Filipinos.

Attaining peace and order is paramount, he said, noting if there is peace and order, businesses and everything else will follow, as in the case of Davao City where he was mayor for more than 20 years.

The President said that what happened in Davao City could happen nationwide with the support of the public, especially the military, who can help protect the communities. There are major threats confronting the nation today — one is illegal drugs and the other is Islamic extremism, he said.

He noted that the PMA, with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), was given instruction to wage war against illegal drugs, which has already made significant inroads.

In the government’s fight against terrorism, the President said Isnilon Hapilon, the overall leader of the Islamic State (IS) in the Philippines, has been severely wounded in an encounter with the military. To secure Mindanao, he said he has directed the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to continue to contain the IS threat by intensifying operations against them.

Meanwhile, he said, righteousness and discipline are the foundation of a nation, adding he desires a Philippines that is prosperous and inhabited by peaceful, law-abiding citizens.

“That is why I appreciate the PMA. You have the template of discipline and civility. I ask that you continue this tradition and thank you for inviting me to be part of you,” he said.

“Let us together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos; Filipinos worthy of their nation; Pilipinong nararapat sa Pilipinas; Pilipinas na nararapat sa Pilipino; nasud nga angay sa Pilipino, Pilipinong angay sa Pilipinas.”