Noy urges soldiers: Avoid politicking
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - December 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino yesterday reminded the military to avoid getting involved in partisan politics come the 2016 national elections.

He also had a warning for those who may want to return to the old ways in the Armed Forces.

“Be ashamed and be afraid too. Reforms will not stop and our efforts to make sure that the corrupt will be made accountable will not be derailed,” he said.

Aquino said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would no longer have a shortage of firearms, and gone are the days when the government could not even buy soldiers’ uniforms.

“The days when the purchase of Kevlar helmets is used as a racket at the expense of soldiers’ lives are finished. Now you have the full support of the state and the government,” Aquino told the troops at the 79th AFP Day celebration with Vice President Jejomar Binay also in attendance.

Aquino said the soldiers must not forget their obligation to do what is right and reasonable at all times.

“Do not give in to temptation or get dragged by anyone planning to divert you from the straight path. 2016 is near and we know that during election time,” Aquino said, there are really those who will use force for their own selfish interests.

“The people’s command: It is our duty to ensure order during elections. Your ranks are expected to stay on the side of the public,” he said.

In his speech, Aquino praised the airmen of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for making sure that all C130s planes were operational during the Zamboanga City siege.

Aquino said he never heard the PAF complain, but rather they bravely endeavored to deliver the supplies or equipment to the troops during the Zamboanga City crisis last year.

Aquino also saluted the troops in the West Philippine Sea and other far-flung areas to safeguard the country’s territory.

“I remember the supply operation on Ayungin Shoal for the Marines there. Our supply team was blocked but you showed talent and imagination; you were able to carry out the mission without increasing tension. With such efficiency, why wouldn’t our confidence in our soldiers improve? By showing off your abilities, you were able to prove: our soldiers could really be depended upon,” the President said.

Aquino also cited the Filipino peacekeepers deployed in the Golan Heights who were able to show the world their ability and courage to carry out mission impossible.

‘Frontliners’

The President said it could also not be forgotten that soldiers were the frontliners and first responders in the disasters that hit the country one after the other.

From the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu to Super Typhoon Yolanda and recently Typhoon Ruby, Aquino said the Armed Forces were unshaken and led the relief and clearing operations for affected communities so they could bring hope in the time of tragedy.

As commander-in-chief, Aquino said the AFP leadership was really proud that soldiers mirrored the good traits of the Filipino race: cooperation, concern for others and being true to fellowmen and the flag.

Aquino noted the soldiers’ honesty was key to the establishment of a “virtuous cycle.”

Because they could preserve peace and stability, Aquino said the government was able to attract more investors that could provide jobs for the people.

Now that the AFP is undergoing modernization and has experienced a “renaissance,” Aquino said the whole of government would do everything to improve service, deepen knowledge and strengthen professionalism and integrity of the institution.

He said modern equipment like ships, helicopters and even fighter jets, capability development and professional enhancement of the soldiers, were included in the AFP Transformation Roadmap. – With Alexis Romero

           

 

 

AQUINO ARMED FORCES ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AYUNGIN SHOAL BOHOL AND CEBU GOLAN HEIGHTS PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE SOLDIERS ZAMBOANGA CITY
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