CG, PA ASSUMPTION SPEECH

    ASSUMPTION SPEECH
    CHANGE OF COMMAND CEREMONY FOR CG,PA
    5 OCT0BER 2017

    TODAY, THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AND THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES ARE BOTH HELD IN HIGH ESTEEM BY THE CITIZENRY FOR THEIR BRAVERY, VALOR, HEROISM AND INTEGRITY.


    HAVING JUST LEFT THE MAIN BATTLE AREA IN MARAWI ON THE 3RD OF OCTOBER, I CARRY WITH ME A MESSAGE FROM THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE AT THE FRONTLINES ---- THERE IS NO GREATER HONOR FOR A SOLDIER THAN TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE OF LAYING DOWN HIS OWN LIFE IN THE SERVICE OF GOD AND COUNTRY. I HAVE NEVER WITNESSED SUCH DEDICATION TO DUTY AND TO COUNTRY IN MY CLOSE TO 36 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE AS I SAW AS HEAD OF THE JOINT TASK FORCE MARAWI WHERE EVEN THE WOUNDED RUSHED THEIR CONVALESCENCE AND REQUESTED FOR EARLY DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL JUST TO HASTEN RE-DEPLOYMENT TO MARAWI IN ORDER TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AMONG THEIR COMRADES. ON TOP OF THIS I WAS WITNESS TO THE EXTREME DEDICATION OF A PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF ATTEMPTING TO COME SEVERAL TIMES IN THE THICK OF THE FIGHT BUT GETTING TURNED BACK TWICE BY BAD WEATHER JUST TO LET HIS TROOPS KNOW THAT HE IS ONE WITH THEM AND WILL SUPPORT THEM ALL THE WAY.


    IN A LITTLE OVER A YEAR I SHALL BE ENDING MY STINT IN THE SERVICE. I NEVER IMAGINED I WOULD BE STANDING HERE BEFORE YOU TODAY AS THE NEWLY DESIGNATED COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY. I THANK MARY OUR MOTHER AND THE GOOD LORD FOR THEIR BLESSINGS WHILE I IMPLORE THEIR HELP FOR GUIDANCE AND DELIVERANCE IN THE YEAR AHEAD.


    THANK YOU TO PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, OUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF FOR HIS TRUST AND CONFIDENCE IN ME. ALLOW ME TO ALSO EXPRESS MY GRATITUDE TO SECRETARY LORENZANA, SIR; GEN AÑO SIR; AND TO MY PREDECESSOR LTGEN MIRANDA, SIR; FOR BELIEVING IN MY ABILITY TO LEAD THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AS IT TAKES ON NEW CHALLENGES IN A CHANGING WORLD.


    THANK YOU TO MY FAMILY, MY WIFE SHIRLEY ANN, AND MY CHILDREN RALPH, JAMIE, GABRIEL AND THEA, WHO HAVE BEEN MY INSPIRATION AND SOURCE OF STRENGTH THROUGH THE YEARS.


    WE WILL BUILD ON WHAT WE HAVE AT THE PRESENT TIME WHILE OPENING OUR MIND TO OTHER POSSIBILITIES IN THE REALM AS DICTATED BY THE EVOLVING TIMES. TERRORIST GROUPS HAVE HAD THE LUXURY AND FUNDING TO REINVENT THEMSELVES AND CREATE A NEW TYPE OF CONFLICT. WE HAVE SUDDENLY FOUND OURSELVES FORCED OUT OF THE COMFORTS OF JUNGLE WARFARE INTO URBAN AREAS WITH DENSE POPULATIONS COUPLED WITH A BARRAGE OF TERRORISTIC SOCIAL MEDIA PROPAGANDA, THINGS OUR FOOT SOLDIERS WERE NOT SCHOOLED IN, NEVERTHELESS, IT IS A CHALLENGE FOR THE INCOMING LEADERSHIP TO MAKE THE PHILIPPINE ARMY ADAPTABLE AND RELEVANT TO THE DICTATES OF THE TIMES.


    DEFINITELY TERRORISM, FANATICISM, AND THE ADVOCATING OF RADICAL SOCIAL OR POLITICAL REFORMS HAVE NO PLACE IN PEACE LOVING COUNTRIES. OUR INSTITUTION MUST CONFRONT THESE PROBLEMS BASED ON A MULTI-SECTORAL APPROACH --- INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS MUST BE BEEFED-UP SO THAT GROUPS SUCH AS THESE CANNOT GAIN A FOOTHOLD IN THE COUNTRY. THE INVOLVEMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY IN INFORMATION GATHERING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF HARMONIOUS INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PEOPLE AND THEIR LEADERS WHILE SHOWING RESPECT FOR THEIR RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL BELIEFS SHOULD PAVE THE WAY FOR PEACE IN POTENTIAL AREAS OF CONFLICT. WE MUST STRIVE TO MODERNIZE OUR AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY AND SKILLS TRAINING ABILITIES.


    CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS MUST BE UPDATED TO FOCUS ON THE NEEDS OF A PARTICULAR GROUP OF PEOPLE IN KEEPING WITH THE ARMY’S OBJECTIVES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ARMY TRANSFORMATION ROADMAP. OUR OFFICERS AND EACH AND EVERY SOLDIER SHOULD ALWAYS TRY TO FIND WAYS TO BETTER THEMSELVES AND WORK COHESIVELY IN THE SERVICE OF THE PEOPLE THROUGH EDUCATION, TRAINING PROGRAMS, INNOVATIONS, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AND PEOPLE CENTERED ACTIVITIES.


    TO ENSURE THE FREE FLOWING OF IDEAS TOWARDS THE BETTERMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AS A WHOLE, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN OPERATIONS RESEARCH CENTER WILL BE PURSUED TO HARNESS THE INTELLECT AND MOTIVATE EVERY TROOPER TO BRING OUT HIS BEST TO COME UP WITH GUIDELINES, TECHNIQUES AND INNOVATIONS ON HOW TO BETTER OUR PRESENT SET UP AND MANNER OF DOING THINGS.


    I WILL CARRY ON WITH THE PROGRAMS OF THE COMMANDERS BEFORE ME AND SUSTAIN THE GAINS THAT THE PHILIPPINE ARMY HAS ACHIEVED TO DATE. IN KEEPING WITH PRESIDENT DUTERTE’S CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY LET US JUSTIFY WITH LOGICAL AND SOUND REASONS OUR GOALS AND MATCH THEM WITH OUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES TO MAKE OUR PLANS FEASIBLE. JOHN MAXWELL SAID, “LEADERS BECOME GREAT NOT BECAUSE OF THEIR POWER BUT BECAUSE OF THEIR ABILITY TO EMPOWER OTHERS”.


    LET ME REMIND EACH AND EVERYONE OF US IN THE SERVICE THAT SECTION 1 OF ARTICLE ELEVEN (11) OF THE
    1987 CONSTITUTION ENTITLED ACCOUNTABILITY OF PUBLIC OFFICERS STATES: “PUBLIC OFFICE IS A PUBLIC TRUST. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES MUST, AT ALL TIMES,BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE, SERVE THEM WITH UTMOST RESPONSIBILITY, INTEGRITY, LOYALTY, AND EFFICIENCY; ACT WITH PATRIOTISM AND JUSTICE, AND LEAD MODEST LIVES.”


    TO OUR OUTGOING COMMANDER, LTGEN MIRANDA, SIR; AS YOU LEAVE THE SERVICE, ALLOW ME TO THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF YOUR TROOPS FOR A JOB WELL DONE. REST ASSURED THAT WE WILL BUILD ON THE FOUNDATIONS THAT YOU HAVE LAID AND COLLECTIVELY WE WILL STRIVE TO ACHIEVE NEW HEIGHTS. WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST IN THE NEXT CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE.


    THE LEADERSHIP OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY UNDER MY WATCH SHALL WORK IN UNISON ON NEW THRUSTS WHICH HAVE COME TO MY ATTENTION AFTER STAYING IN MARAWI FROM MAY 23 TO OCTOBER 3, 2017.


    1. MAXIMIZING TROOP EFFORT BY ENABLING OUR SOLDIERS TO FOCUS ON THEIR JOB WITHOUT ADDITIONAL BURDENS IN MIND. WE WILL LOOK INTO PROGRAMS THAT ALLEVIATE THE WORRIES OF OUR SOLDIERS WHICH ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM OTHER FILIPINOS ---- SHELTER, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE AND LIVELIHOOD FOR THEIR FAMILIES.

    2. STRENGTHENING OUR CMO UNITS’ STAKEHOLDERS PARTICIPATION AND LEAD THEM TOWARDS ‘SELFLESS’ PRIVATE AND GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS WHICH EMPOWER ‘PEOPLE CENTERED VOLUNTEERISM’ THAT WILL WIN THE HEARTS AND THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE WHILE SERVING COMMUNITIES.THE ARMY WILL CONTINUE TO LEAD AND ASSIST IN THE REBUILDING OF MARAWI CITY JUST LIKE WHAT WE DID IN BARANGAY BITO BUADI ITOWA OF THE SAID CITY LAST OCTOBER 2, WHEREGOVERNMENT AGENCIES NAMELY, THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, THE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, AND THREE (3) UNITS OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY – THE 1st INFANTRY (TABAK) DIVISION, 54th ENGINEER BRIGADE AND THE MECHANIZED INFANTRY DIVISION, CAME TOGETHER IN THE SPIRIT OF BAYANIHAN WITH VOLUNTEERS FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR NOT ASKING FOR ANY FAVOR FROM GOVERNMENT --- THE CHINESE FILIPINO BUSINESS CLUB INCORPORATED HEADED BY ITS PRESIDENT MR. WILLIAM CHUA YAP AND TARLAC HERITAGE FOUNDATION CO-FOUNDED BY MAAM ISABEL AND ISA SUNTAY TO BUILD A GREEN, SELF SUSTAINED COMMUNITY MEASURING 1.2 HECTARES AT SAID BARANGAY WHICH WILL BE HOME TO FIFTY (50) FAMILIES OF THE MARAWI CONFLICT IN WHAT IS CALLED AN IMMEDIATE SHELTER AND ACCOMMODATION FOR THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLES OR IDPs DESIGNED BY FILIPINOS AND CRAFTED BY THE SOLDIERS AND CAFGUS OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY.
    THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION AS REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE, THE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS, THE PHILIPPINE ARMY, AND THESE GENEROUS AND SELFLESS DONORS HAVE GIVEN THE IDPs OF MARAWI CITYTHE DIGNITY AND RESPECT THAT THEY ESPECIALLY NEED DURING THIS CRITICAL PERIOD IN THEIR LIVES TO ENABLE THEM TO RETURN TO NORMALCY. THIS SHOWCASES THE INGENUITY AND TALENT OF OUR SOLDIERS IN NATION BUILDING --- A FILIPINO VERSION OF THE POP-UP-TENT.


    3. WE MUST WORK TOWARDS ENCOURAGING A NEW ROLE FOR RESERVISTS WHO PLAYED A PART IN HELPING US ATTAIN OUR SECURITY GOALS IN MARAWI. RESERVISTS, ROTC CADETS, AND EVEN CAT TRAINEES IN HIGH SCHOOLS, MAY ALL BE PUT TO GOOD USE FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY GOALS.


    4. MAKING THE MOST OF MILITARY COOPERATION WITH FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS TO BOOST AND UPGRADE OUR STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL GAINS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ENABLING US TO BETTER OUR CAPABILITIES.
    AS THE NEWLY DESIGNATED COMMANDING GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY’S EIGHTY THOUSAND (80,000) STRONG SOLDIERS, I GIVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU MY WHOLE HEARTED SUPPORT AND ABSOLUTE DEDICATION TO DUTY. YOUR WELFARE AND WELL BEING SHALL BE MY PRIMARY CONCERN. TOGETHER LET US HARNESS ONE ANOTHER’S POTENTIALS TOWARDS THE REALIZATION OF A DYNAMIC PHILIPPINE ARMY, ONE THAT IS MORALLY AND SPIRITUALLY UPRIGHT AND TRULY CARES WHILE BEING OF SERVICE TO ITS PEOPLE. LET OUR RESOURCEFULNESS, TRAILBLAZING AND CREATIVITY BE ONE THAT OUR CITIZENS WILL ADMIRE. MAY THE SPIRIT OF ‘BAYANIHAN’ SEE US THROUGH IN ALL OF OUR UNDERTAKINGS FOR TOGETHER OUR EIGHTY THOUSAND DEEDS CAN ACCOUNT FOR A WHOLE LOT OF GOOD.


    MAY I ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE OFFER APRAYERFOR THE HEROES OF MARAWI AND THEIR LOVED ONES.BEING COUNTED WITH EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO WERE AND STILL ARE IN MARAWI --- THE KILLED IN ACTION, THE WOUNDED IN ACTION, AND THE TROOPS STILL FIGHTING IT OUT IN MARAWIIS A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR FOR ME. MAY THE MEMORIES OF ALL THE HEROES IN MARAWI LIVE ON IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE WHOM THEY UNSTINTINGLY SERVED IN THE LINE OF DUTY TO ENSURE THAT PEACE REIGNS IN THISCOUNTRY.
    MABUHAY ANG HUKBONG KATIHAN NG PILIPINAS! MABUHAY ANG REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS!

     

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