President Duterte tells military to remain steadfast against lawlessness, terrorism

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday, January 5, attended the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Change of Command ceremony calling on the members of the country’s security forces to remain relentless in their campaign against lawlessness and terrorism.

In his speech during the event held in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, President Duterte has expressed optimism that the members of the AFP will support the leadership of the incoming AFP Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., and will remain steadfast in protecting the country against various threats particularly lawlessness and terrorism.

“Under the command of Lieutenant General Santos, I am confident that the AFP will further achieve more milestones in the campaign to protect our freedom and democratic values,” the President said hoping that the AFP will carry out programs that will elevate the competence, the probity and integrity of the country’s uniformed personnel.

“May this momentous occasion renew your commitment to defend our homeland from lingering and emerging security threats as you uphold the safety of our families and communities,” he added.

The President made an assurance that the AFP will always have his full support and confidence as the government tirelessly builds a more stable and peaceful future for the people.

At the same time, the administration will assist the men and women of the armed forces to overcome the challenges being experienced by the nation, he further said.

The Chief Executive also acknowledged the outstanding term of General Clement as the highest officer of the armed forces. The outgoing AFP chief, the President said, made “principled and irreproachable leadership in fighting insurgency and securing our sovereignty.”

He lauded Clement’s spirited efforts in spearheading the humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations of the AFP, noting that his faithful adherence to military professionalism inspires the military to continue serving with valor, heroism and selflessness.

Before his appointment as the new AFP chief of staff, General Santos served as the commander of AFP Eastmincom, assuming the post on January 21, 2019.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy “Sinagtala” Class of 1986, Santos spent most of his years with the 39th Infantry Battalion, a unit deployed in Mindanao tasked to pursue communist insurgents.

He was also a veteran intelligence officer, previously serving as the head of the 11th Intelligence Service Unit based in Davao City and the Philippine Army’s Intelligence Service Group. PND