President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, May 8, administered the oath taking of Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) newly promoted generals and flag officers, reminding them that Filipinos expect them to serve with the highest standards of excellence and professionalism.
In his speech during the ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace, the President congratulated the newly appointed generals and flag officers.
“As your Commander-in-Chief, I share your pride and honor in achieving this significant milestone in your careers,” he said.
The Chief Executive reminded the generals and flag officers that as keepers of peace and protectors of the nation, the Filipinos count on them to perform their duties with the highest standards of excellence and professionalism.
“I depend on you to stand with us at this important time in our nation’s history,” he said.
Duterte noted that despite the significant progress to counter illegal drugs, corruption and criminality, the Philippines is not yet safe from harm and danger.
He however expressed optimism that the country can prevail against the challenges “if we work together as a people and as a nation.”
“It is my hope that you remain steadfast and vigilant in sustaining our efforts as we strive to fully eradicate these social ills,” he said.
“It is for this reason that I look to our newly appointed generals and flag officers to serve with integrity and uphold the rule of law,” the President said, asking the newly appointed officers to lead the men and women of the AFP and hone them into exemplary and effective soldiers the citizens can rely on.
For his part, President Duterte assured the generals and flag officers that he will stand by them as they start their respective tasks.
“In return, I ask that you help me restore the people’s faith in their government,” he said.
“We will see to it that the nation that we hand over to the next generation of Filipinos is one that is more stable, harmonious and progressive,” he added.
At the same time, President Duterte stressed that he has always advocated for the merit system and vowed that he does not interfere in the chain of command.
“I do not and I have not to this day interfered in the chain of command nor in the promotion or transfer or anything that is within your province. I have kept my distance, I have kept my promise that everything shall be on merit,” he said.
The President then called on the officers to help him stop graft and corruption.
“Isa lang ang hinihingi ko sa inyo: that you help me. You are not — but help me stamp graft and corruption. That was my main promise,” he said.
“And you know very well that I won the presidency not because of anybody. And that is why to our credit, pati kayo na, nobody but nobody, no politician ever, ever calls me or intercedes for anybody in matters that are, I said, within your jurisdiction,” he further said.
After the oath taking rites, the President presided over the joint AFP-Philippine National Police (PNP) command conference. ### (PND)