Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana stated that despite the ongoing pandemic brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of National Defense (DND) has fulfilled its strategic priorities in 2020.
In the first-ever DND online flag-raising ceremony for the department’s 81st Anniversary, Secretary Lorenzana highlighted the DND’s accomplishments in securing sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, promoting internal stability, attaining the highest standard of capability and preparedness, sustaining operations in support to global peace, and pursuing good governance.
“Vital infrastructures were built in the Kalayaan Island Group, Batanes Group of Islands, Sulu Sea, Philippine Rise, and West Philippine Sea for territorial defense operations,” the Defense Chief pointed out.
“In compliance with the President’s instructions, the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) also strengthened its presence in the country’s eastern seaboard in Fuga Island,” he added.
Secretary Lorenzana also highlighted the DND’s contributions to internal peace and security, noting the successful enforcement of Martial Law in Mindanao and substantial gains made against the communist terrorist groups (CTGs).
“There was no need for an extension beyond December 2019 as our security forces victoriously neutralized foreign and local extremist groups in the area,” Secretary Lorenzana said.
“As part of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the DND led lines of effort are likewise commendable. About 14,000 communist insurgents have returned to the fold of the law. Many were given reintegration assistance under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP,” he added.
The DND is celebrating its 81st Anniversary this year virtually due to COVID-19, with the theme “DND@81: Nagtatanggol at kumakalinga sa gitna ng pandemya.”
“Maraming salamat sa inyong buong-puso at buwis-buhay na serbisyo para sa ating bandila at bayan,” Secretary Lorenzana said, addressing the men and women of the One Defense Team. DND.GOV.PH