Duterte thanks soldiers, vows full support to AFP modernization

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday thanked soldiers for their dedication in protecting the people and vowed to fully support the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The President gave awards and plaques of appreciation to the soldiers and private citizens during the 12th Activation Anniversary celebration of the Mechanized Infantry Division (MID) here.

“As long as you do your steadfast duty, the government will continue to give its support to all of you,” Duterte said.

The President, in his speech, reminisced the patriotism and bravery showed by the troops during the war against terrorists in Marawi City.

He also mentioned the government’s relentless fight against illegal drugs and reiterated that foreign critics have nothing to do with these woes in the country as it is an internal problem.

The government is doing its best to solve the issue, Duterte pointed out.

“I will do everything to protect the Philippines and the Filipino people,” he added.

MID Commander Major General Gilbert I. Gapay, for his part, thanked the President, saying that the division was very happy to celebrate this very special occasion in the company of their Commander-in-Chief.

“Although, we know that the President is very busy attending the left and right problems of the country, he was able to grace our occasion,” Gapay said.

The event was highlighted by the viewing and capability demonstration of the latest armored vehicles of the MID, which were used in the liberation of Marawi City.

There was also a wreath-laying ceremony at the Armor-Cavalry Memorial as a tribute for the gallant men of the unit, who offered their ultimate sacrifice not only during the Marawi war, but also in the other combat operations of the MID.

The celebration was themed “Team Armor, Kaagapay ng Sambayanan Tungo sa Kapayapaan at Kaunlaran”. It was also attended by Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr., National Security Adviser, other Cabinet officials, AFP officers, and local government officials including Tarlac Governor Susan Yap and Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan.

The President also visited the Hardin ng Lunas of the Tarlac Heritage Foundation led by Dr. Isa Suntay.

Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1048723