Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
DURING THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY ACADEMY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HOMECOMING 2017
[Delivered at the Fajardo Grandstand, PMA Fort Gen. Gregorio H. Del Pilar, Baguio City | 18 February 2017]
Kindly, kindly sit down. Thank you.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Secretary Hermogenes Esperon; General Eduardo Año and the major service commanders, Lt. Gen. Donato San Juan II, Superintendent, Philippine Military Academy; Cavalier Anselmo Avenido, chairman, CEO, Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Incorporated; Cavalier Erick Kagaoan, president and CEO, Philippine Military Academy Association, Incorporated; Cavalier Delfin Castro, PMA Class 1951 and the oldest. Sir, my salute; Cavalier Karl Angelo Torres, PMA Class 2016, he’s the youngest; Cavalier, awardees, outgoing and incoming PMA Alumni Association Incorporated officers; beloved Military Academy Alumni; my beloved countrymen.
I am an adopted ‘Dimasupil’ Class of 1967 [applause] that is already honor enough but to be formally adopted by the Philippine Military Academy Alumni is a double honor [applause] in my case because of my long and harmonious relationship with PMA Alumni but not about political consideration. Thank you for clarifying that.
I used to tell I am uncomfortable receiving awards and recognition for the work that I do as a government employee and public servant because trabaho lang po lahat ng ito. The work I do, I do in the service of the people [applause] and somehow, I also feel at home here at PMA because of its mission to train and develop graduates with character and skill.
Being a soldier demands an inner strength, a choice to live by courage and principle. Because my own life has been molded by the principle of love of country, compassion for the poor and needy, and pride in being a Filipino.
Today, these threats face the nation: The first is illegal drugs. Little did I know that the drug problem was more complex until tens of thousands of drug users started turning themselves in as I directed the PMA with the support of the AFP to conduct a war against illegal drugs and it was by and large successful.
At this point, may I ask the commanding officer to give the order of tikas pahinga.
Thank you. The Sulu-based ASG is focused on kidnap-for-ransom. The Basilan-based ASG under Hapilon remains focused on assimilating the IS violent today.
As I predicted, IS would find its way to the Philippines. The ASG leader Hapilon, the overall leader of the ISIS Philippines however, has been severely wounded in an encounter with the military.
I have directed AFP and PNP to continuously contain the ISIS threat, to intensify operations using all available assets and resources. This is the only way to secure Mindanao.
So let me bring you back to my vision for the nation. As a child immigrant from Visayas to Mindanao, we hoped for a better life in the so-called ‘Land of Promise.’
But now, it is threatened by climate change caused by man-made diseases like 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.
Government must now deliver goods and services to really serve the people, not just the interest of the few. In the past, our government verged on failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions which favored only themselves.
That is why I promised during my first State of the Nation Address, I promised you a comfortable life. My administration is working to ensure that basic human services are available to all; food and health needs; water and sanitation; shelter; public safety; education; and economic opportunities.
But we will always uphold the sanctity of the common good as the highest good. And always for the benefit of the next generation.
When I was Mayor of Davao, people asked me why I kept on harping peace and order. And I answered, if there is peace and order, businesses and everything else will follow. And it did.
Now I believe what happened in Davao can really happen nationwide but I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but protection the citizens from the lawless, the reckless, and the selfish.
While I never pretended to be a saint, I know that righteousness and discipline are the foundation of a nation. That is why what I desire for the Philippines is a prosperous society that includes everyone, a peaceful law-abiding citizenry, and people of different beliefs who choose to get along with one another.
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.
Let us together build a nation worthy of the Filipinos; Filipinos worthy of their nation; [applause] Pilipinong nararapat sa Pilipinas; Pilipinas na nararapat sa Pilipino; Nasud nga angay sa Pilipino, Pilipinong angay sa Pilipinas. [applause]
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. At maraming salamat sa inyo.
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