Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the capability demonstration of the FA-50PH and acceptance, turnover, and blessing ceremony of the ground based air defense systems and C-295 medium lift aircraft

Speeches 8 November 2022

Thank you, Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino Jr. [Please take your seats.]

Their Excellencies, the Ambassador of Israel to the Philippines and the Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines, newly arrived; the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Lieutenant General Bartolome Bacarro; Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force Lieutenant General Connor Anthony Canlas; the other service commanders present here today; the officers and enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Philippine Air Force; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen; distinguished guests, good afternoon.

The brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, a good day to you all on this very special day.

Peace within oneself and with others is a fundamental and universal need that applies not only to individuals, but to nations as well.

When a nation enjoys peace, there is stability; there is stability, there is progress and prosperity. In the same vein, if there is peace among nations, then trade grows; relationships expand; and humanity itself flourishes.

And the peace can only be achieved when there is security; when you know that you can protect yourself, your possessions, and those you hold dear.

With this said — and before I continue to the meat of this gathering — I would like to take the time to honor the fearless men and women who continuously serve and protect our country: the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. [applause]

We see and we recognize the sacrifices that you make to preserve peace and security for our country, and this administration will remain your steadfast partner in accomplishing this, as you have been loyal to your calling throughout the years, so shall we be loyal to you.

This is a day that is a momentous event for all of us, especially of course the Philippine Air Force, as our reason for gathering is a significant stride to our ability to shield our territories from aerial threats of different kinds, whether from inside or outside the country.

So allow me to congratulate you for the successful acquisition of the new Ground Based Air Defense Systems and the C-295 Medium Lift Aircraft. These, and the delivery of the FA-50PH in the prior years, will certainly make a very big difference in uplifting our Air Force’s capabilities to promote our security.

At the same time, we must of course extend our deepest gratitude to Israel and to Spain for helping us bolster our defense systems to safeguard our sovereignty.

I believe that this is a clear testament of our strong defense relations — one that we can develop in — as their Excellencies mentioned, in other areas besides defense.

But it is one that is rooted in our shared humanity and understanding of the fundamental need to provide and secure the peace we desire for our citizens.

While we strive to live in peace with others, it is still crucial that our Armed Forces be modernized so that it is ready for all eventualities.

It is for this reason, that we strengthen our country’s capabilities in territorial defense, counter-terrorism, and internal security.

In keeping our defense systems updated with the latest technology, we fortify our capabilities to provide humanitarian assistance to respond immediately in times of calamities and disasters.

It is also worth noting that, for government and business operations to continue without fault or interruption, there is a need to protect all our critical infrastructure — and our modernization addresses such a need.

With terrorism and external security threats brought by geopolitical tensions looming around us, around the Asia Pacific region, and around the world, it is imperative that we continue to equip and empower ourselves in whatever capacity we are able.

As we accept and bless the new Ground Based Air Defense Systems and the C-295 Aircraft, I call upon our Philippine Air Force personnel to continue performing their duties. May you remain as the bastions of freedom that our ancestors have fought for and of the peace that we unceasingly have worked hard for generations to gain.

Again, congratulations to one and all for this very fine day.

Maraming salamat. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)