Berth 5, Sasa Wharf, Sasa, Davao City
May 31, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte attended the 119th founding anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy (PN) at the Sasa Wharf in Davao City.

With this year’s theme, ‘The Navy: Protecting the Seas, Securing Our Future,’ the Philippine Navy showcased its brand new Strategic Sealift Vessel (SSV) and (3) three Multipurpose Assault Crafts (MPACs) with missile provisions.

The celebration also highlighted the commissioning of the 123-meter, 4,000-ton Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Davao del Sur (Landing Dock [LD]-602) and the capability demonstration of three Multi Purpose Attack Crafts (MPACs) with missile armament provisions.

President Duterte witnessed the setting of the watch led by PN Commanding Officer Captain Richard Gonzaga signifying that the BRP Davao del Sur LD-602 is ready for operations.

He also awarded the following — Distinguished Conduct Star to Col. Hernaine Songano of the Philippine Navy; Gold Cross Medal to Lt. Lemuel Rosete and Cpl. Elmar De Jesus, Jr.; Type Command of the Year 2017 to the Philippine Fleet; Naval Operating Forces of the Year 2017 to the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Command (NAVFOREM); and the Naval Support Command of the Year 2017 to the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).

In his keynote address, President Duterte expressed his appreciation to the Philippine Navy for its contributions in the country. “I congratulate the Philippine Navy for your remarkable contributions in strengthening the foundation of our nation. Your efforts to fulfill your mandate to uphold peace and sovereignty in our territorial waters have been remarkable in the past years. And today, you have once again reaffirmed your important role as you support the counter terrorism efforts against the Maute Group in Marawi City. Your presence in Mindanao along with other members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have made our kababayans feel more secure at this most delicate and challenging time. I am confident that you will remain committed to your oath to safeguard our shores and shoals against all acts of terror and violence,” the President stressed.

“Maraming salamat po at congratulations to your anniversary… Mabuhay ang Marines at mabuhay ang mga sailors ng Philippine Navy, mabuhay kayong lahat,” President Duterte added.

After his speech, the Commander in Chief boarded the BRP Davao del Sur LD-602 to inspect the vessel. The Flag-Officer-in-Command (FOIC), Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado, escorted the President as he inspected the following — 1st Station: Static Display in the 1st level of the ship; 2nd Station: Hospital/Sick Bay in the second level of the ship; 3rd Station: Hangar or Helideck in the 3rd level of the ship; 4th Station: War Room in the 5th level of the ship, where the President witnessed the actual operation and capability demonstration; 5th Station: Pilot House/Bridge and VIP Meeting Room in the 5th level of the ship; 6th Station: Ward Room in the 6th level of the ship.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año, National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Philippine Army (PA) Commanding General Lt. Gen. Glorioso Miranda, and Philippine Air Force (PAF) Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina were also present in the event.

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