Fort Andres Bonifacio, Metro Manila


Assumption speech of  LTGEN REYNALDO B MAPAGU AFP
As the 52nd Commanding General , Philippine Army
Change Of Command Ceremony, Philippine Army
HPA Grandstand Fort Andres Bonifacio Metro Manila
121000H MAR 2010

By the Grace of the GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE, humbled by His blessings, I now take on my post as the 52nd Commanding General of the Philippine Army, keeping in mind a passage from the Gospel according to John, Chapter 5, Verse 30, and I quote "I can do nothing on my own authority; I judge only as God tells me, so my judgement is right; because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what He who sent me wants."

Let me express my profound gratitude to the people behind my designation - of course, special mention goes to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the Honorable Secretary Norberto Gonzales, and the members of the Board Generals (to include the former Chief of Staff, Gen Victor Ibrado) for their trust and confidence.

I. The Army Vision

The Army is an organization beaming with pride and tradition. It thrives on excellence. As it performs its fundamental mandate to protect the people and safeguard our democracy. It moves on the basis of national policy. At its most basic, the strength of the Army is contained in the continuity of its mission. And as such, this leadership, my leadership, will continue on pursuing the collective vision of the 80,000 - strong Team Army that was set forth fifteen years ago, that is, to achieve "a Professional, Capable and Responsive Army that is a Source of National Pride".

So much has been accomplished in pursuit of this vision and credit is due to the former Army commanders who have steered the Army to what it is today. I shall remain committed toward the attainment of this vision and equally committed to pursue our mission to protect the people and the state and fulfill our role to attain peace and development for our country.

The Philippine Army under my watch will be an Army that is focused on achieving results. Everyone must act. Every soldier must stay on course and feel the same sense of urgency. And every Army man and woman must strive to accomplish their respective jobs. Because the people expect us to perform; because the government expects all of us to contribute; because the nation expects us to accomplish our mandate, and we will never fail them!

First, we shall continue to work for the attainment of a truly Professional Army. In accordance with the high degree of standard that we have set of ourselves, we shall continue to improve the individual and collective competence of the Army and instill in every soldier his or her responsibility to the service and the larger Philippine society. To be able to do this, we shall continue to institutionalize the kind of discipline that the military is known for, among our troops. We shall strictly abide by our standards of discipline and codes of conduct. We shall ensure that the Army soldier imbibes and lives by the basic tenets of military discipline and protection of human rights. We shall always be ready to provide our services 24/7, across the country. We shall strictly observe meritocracy to ensure that positions, schooling, and promotions are obtained by the most competent and hard working soldiers and that equal opportunity and consideration is given to everyone concerned.

Second. We shall continue to Enhance our Capabilities. Aside from performing our traditional role of fighting the enemies of the state, the Army has now evolved and is in fact, greatly involved in the performance of, the otherwise, non-traditional roles of humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and development support. In line with the Philippine Defense Reform and our continuing Capability Upgrade Programs, we will work to sustain the requirements and the readiness of our troops and units through continuous professional development training and the provision of mission-essential requirements of our troops in the front lines.

Third. We shall endeavor to meet and if possible, even exceed our stakeholders' expectations from all of us. We shall remain responsive to the needs of our people and prepare ourselves to perform emerging roles in response to changes in our operational environment and in support to the goals and objectives of Higher Headquarters and the national government.

The dynamic participation of all our team members shall enable us to confidently and sincerely deliver our services to the people, especially in times of natural and man-made calamities, as well as assist in the delivery government services. In turn, we solicit the support and involvement of the local government units, the other agencies of government, and the other sectors of society, so that we can all work together for our shared aspirations for peace and development for our country and people.

And fourth, We promise to be an Army that is a Source of National Pride. We will do our best and work together to become an Army that our people can depend on and can truly be proud of.

II. Continuation of the programs

In line with the direction of my predecessors, to include Generals Ibrado, Yano and the other Army commanders before them. I shall ensure the continuity of the initiatives that they have put in place and pursued with earnest commitment.

In commit only my best toward the sustained and vigorous pursuit of our ongoing thrusts and programs. As Generals Esperon and Tolentino have addressed the capability and readiness requirements of our rifle squads; General Yano on the requirements of individual soldiers; and General Ibrado on building the capabilities of our platoons, companies, and higher echelons- I will now focus on putting all these programs together to fully address the needs of our foot soldiers, and enhance collective and unit capabilities across all levels and echelons of command.

III. Team Army: " At your service across the land"

To the Filipino people, rest assured that your ARMY will always be at your service whenever and wherever needed. We will always be ready to protect your lives, your rights and liberties, and your way of life, true to Team Army's collective and perpetual commitment to be "At your service across the land."

To all members of Team Army, let us commit ourselves to our organizational vision to become a truly professional, capable and responsive Army that is a source of pride for our country and people.

To our new Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines, GeneraL Bangit, sir, I assure you that I shall continue to pursue and implement the programs you have started and make sure that our gains are in consonance with the thrusts and priorities of the AFP leadership. My predecessor General Bangit has a set high standard for the contributions he has made. He shaped the Philippine Army an "ACE" of a FORCE by pursuing the Army's Concern for Engineering; by strengthening the Army's Concern for the Environment; by raising the Army Combat Efficiency; and projecting the Army as and Advocate for Credible Elections. He is an ACE of a Commanding General, and I will make sure that his contributions will continue under my watch.

Needless to say, the whole Team Army wishes our new Chief of Staff the best, as he leads Team AFP towards the fulfillment of our national security goals. For our part, rest assured that we shall persevere to fully accomplish our internal security operations mandate to reduce insurgency to inconsequential level across the country. We shall endeavor to ensure an orderly, peaceful, and more importantly, honest and credible national and local elections this coming May.

We will do all these so that our country and people can now focus on the more urgent goal of national development and economic prosperity.

In closing, let me once again thank all of you for coming to witness this momentous occasion. Kayo ang aking inspirasyon upang lalo ko pang pagbutihin at pag-ibayuhin ang aking pagsisikap na maglingkod sa ating bayan at mamamayan. At nangangako ako sa inyong lahat na hindi ko kayo bibiguin!

Mabuhay ang Team Army! Mabuhay ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas! Mabuhay tayong lahat!