President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday recognized the role of the Department of National Defense (DND) as a key contributor to the country’s peace and development through the years.
In a speech during DND’s 80th anniversary celebration held at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City, President Duterte underscored the DND’s effective formulation and implementation of policies and efficient management of resources to ensure the nation’s safety and to protect its territorial integrity.
“On behalf of a grateful nation, I extend my sincerest thanks to you, the brave men and women of the DND, for successfully carrying out the sacred mandate to defend our country against external and internal threats and ensure peace and security,” he said.
The President said he is hopeful that such milestone will inspire them to work harder for an environment that will be the bedrock of a safer and more prosperous society for the present and future generations of Filipinos.
The Chief Executive then noted the DND’s indispensable participation in humanitarian and disaster response, peace and development, socio-economic growth, and nation building, which he said, are vital to the country’s journey towards lasting progress.
“The Filipino nation will always remember you in their hearts for pursuing this noble task that puts you at the forefront of combating elements that threaten our freedom and democratic way of life,” President Duterte said.
At the same time, he assured the department of his administration’s support for the implementation of the modernization program of the military by working with Congress towards the enactment of legislative measures that will further enhance its capabilities.
In renewing his commitment to modernize the country’s armed forces, the President vowed to leave the presidency with a highly capable military.
“I only have two years left. I want to leave my presidency with a comfortable heart that you have been given — I’m referring now to the Armed Forces,” President Duterte said.
“Almost all that you asked from me in the past and present, I gave it. All.”
But to achieve an effective national defense, the President asked the defense department and the military to get rid of corruption and red tape in the bureaucracy as they hamper the government’s ability to carry out its modernization initiatives.
“In the military, it’s with the gestation period, it’s only about one or two months. When you decide to buy and there is money, then the technical working group should go to it,” he said of the military’s procurement process. PND