Speech of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the 88th Anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Speeches 21 December 2023

Before we proceed, will the troop commander give the order of Tikas Pahinga.

Thank you to the Secretary of National Defense, Gilbert Teodoro for his kind introduction.

[Please as you were gentlemen]

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps., Most Rev. Oscar Jaime L. Florencio, the AFP Chief of Staff, General Romeo Brawner and all the Major Service Commanders, Officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!

I extend to you my warmest greetings – I extended it to the officials, troops, and employees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as we celebrate our 88th Anniversary.

I  join the Filipino people in acknowledging the many contributions and sacrifices of the men and women of the AFP in order to secure our people and our State.

As you continue to play a vital role in the government’s various initiatives, it is my fervent hope that your institution will remain relentless in countering lawless elements that intend to sow fear and distrust amongst our people.

You have become crucial as in the past years, the Philippines has found itself in the middle of geopolitical developments and tensions that could potentially cause regional insecurity or endanger people’s lives and livelihoods.

But despite the many attempts at provocation, the Philippines—through the AFP—remains a force and a voice of reason, exemplifying responsible and dignified behavior in resolving issues in accordance with international law.

We shall continue to assert our rights in accordance with the Philippine Constitution and international law.  The recent incidents involving no less than our AFP Chief of Staff is worrisome.

Yes, but it is a proud demonstration of Filipino courage against coercion and our firm resolve to protect, preserve, and uphold our territorial integrity. [applause]

I know that our soldiers and our troops espouse the same values and principles and they remain undeterred by actions that stir tension.

As the arm of government tasked with upholding national security, the AFP must continue to improve its readiness to effectively prevent and to respond to properly the current and emerging threats.

To this end, this Administration remains committed to supporting initiatives that will bolster our Armed Forces’ external defence capabilities.

I likewise enjoin the AFP to enhance existing alliances and partnerships with your foreign counterparts.  Let us continue to explore so that we may forge new partnerships based on common goals, common values and at the same time advancing the national interest.

So, moreover, I extend my utmost recognition to this year’s awardees for your unparalleled dedication, your courage, and the exemplary performance of your respective duties.

It is my hope that you and the rest of the military force will continue to uphold the AFP core values of honesty, service, patriotism in every endeavor.

As recommended by the Department of National Defense and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we are also going to adequately reward the existing Medal of Valor Awardees the increase of their lifetime monthly gratuity for displaying bravery and heroism in defending our freedom. [applause]

This will provide them with a tangible [applause] – this will provide our heroes with a tangible and a meaningful reward, highlighting our commitment to support and to honor our war heroes.

I look forward to more decades of the AFP’s excellent and selfless service to the nation, especially now that we are transforming our country into “Bagong Pilipinas” that is rightfully due to our people.

Once again, I give my snappiest salute to all the members of the AFP. I wish everyone a jubilant and meaningful 88th Anniversary!

Mabuhay ang Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas!

Mabuhay ang lahing Pilipino!

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. At maligayang pasko at manigong bagong taon.