Idealism, Self-Sacrifice, Courage in the AFP; (Speech Delivered at the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, August 15, 2005

Manila Bulletin, August 16, 2005 | Go to article overview

Idealism, Self-Sacrifice, Courage in the AFP; (Speech Delivered at the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, August 15, 2005


Byline: President GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO

UNA sa lahat, kagaya ng sinabi ni General Senga at sinabi na rin ni General Efren Abu, gusto kong pasalamatan ang ating Sandatahang Lakas para sa matagumpay ninyong pagbabantay sa ating demokrasya lalung-lalo na itong mga nakaraang buwan. At binanggit ni General Senga iyong July 8, 2005, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

Thank you for your steadfastness. Si General Abu, sana ay magre-retire ilang linggo ang nakaraan. Ngunit hiningi ko na manatili siya para maisigurado na iyong pinaghahandaang eleksyon sa Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) ay matupad. And I take this opportunity to congratulate the Armed Forces under the leadership of General Abu for the peacefulness of the elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

May I also add that this is the first election in the Autonomous Region in which the president of the Philippines did not interfere. I chose to break tradition because I want to make true and meaningful the autonomy of the region of Muslim Mindanao and thus put forward and move forward the upholding of our democracy and the rule of law. For as long as the rule of law is enforced by the integrity of the uniform and the professionalism of good soldiers, our nation will endure, our nation will survive any upheaval or crisis. This ceremony is symbolic of the permanence of our high ideals as a nation and people.

Today, we face not only domestic controversies but also an oil crisis of global proportions compounded by a global resurgence of terrorism. You have forced through your role, soldiers of the Philippines in a battle against terrorism. You have forced through your role, soldiers of the Philippines in a battle against terrorism. But even in oil crisis, you are called upon to face material constraint even as you are called upon to give the offensive and the initiative against the enemies of the state.

For the rest of us in civilian government, we are called upon to break our partisan bickering and focus our national energy, on the oil and energy crisis even as we assure, and I assure as Commander-in-Chief that all the Armed Forces shall enforce the rule of law.

When I installed General Efren Abu as Chief of Staff last year, as he said, I bade him to implement specific instructions, focus lastingly for the legacy of the Armed Forces. I bade him to implement a fresh wave of reforms in the Armed Forces in line with the findings of the joint defense assessment with the United States and also the Feliciano Commission. Pinanindigan niya ang aking pagtitiwala sa kanyang kakayahan. Kinuwento nga ni General Abu sa atin iyong mga ginawa niya sa mga repormang ito. Iyong mga paglilitis na sinimulan niya. And his overhaul of military headquarters especially the abolition of the J-6 but also going beyond that. All of these resulted in a leaner organization and a most effective and transparent distribution and utilization of personnel, logistics and financial resources.

Congratulations, General Abu!

And now, I welcome General Gene Senga to the helm of the Armed Forces. And as I do so, let me tell you a personal story about him.

A few years ago, General Senga was chosen by the board of generals to head J-2, one of the most important, most glamorous, most powerful, most sensitive position in the Armed Forces. But as the assignment was being implemented, a top official of the national security establishment vigorously objected. Thus, the move was unceremoniously aborted.

I am sure, causing General Senga no small amount of disappointment and embarrassment. Nonetheless, his true mettle showed in that crisis in his career. He accepted the unusual notices of the unusual to save the least, the unusual change of instruction in midstream with the perfect discipline of an officer and a gentleman. And he moved on, he moved on to win the battle of Bulyok and then, to oversee the rehabilitation of that community. …

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Idealism, Self-Sacrifice, Courage in the AFP; (Speech Delivered at the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, August 15, 2005
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