President Rodrigo Duterte branded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the best armed forces in the world during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command Ceremony on May 30 at the PSG Compound in Malacañang Park.
“Men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; the best armed forces in the entire world,” President Duterte said in opening his speech.
The President also explained why he, just like his predecessors, prefers retired military officers in the Cabinet.
“You know, there’s a lot of issues and questions about presidents taking in retired military officers. And that practice has continued. It did not come from me. Other presidents including President Arroyo then my predecessor and me, we have this predilection of engaging the services of ex-military men,” he explained.
“Hindi naman sa pag – to the credit of military men, I said, no offense intended. Ang mga military kasi structural. And they are always conscious of accomplishments. Fulfillment of duty,” he said.
Duterte also vowed to prioritize the need of the armed forces.
“I told Secretary Lorenzana, ‘yung eroplano ko, ‘yung the jet, sabihin ko, the passenger type. Sabi ko, give me a computation, I will just maybe send it to Singapore to have its engines change and I said I’m giving it to you,” he said. “Lahat ng eroplano ko, sabi ko, even the helicopters, ‘yung count na 14, sabi ko kay Secretary Lorenzana, I’m okay. I’m okay with my chopper.”
“Sabi niya kasi, luma na daw ‘yan. Eh unahin mo na muna ‘yung kailangan ng sundalo. Last na lang ako. Kung may pera pa maiwan, kung wala na – go by for the best armed forces of the world and of the universe,” Duterte said.