Philippine Air Force Multi-Purpose Gymnasium, Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay City
July 3, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte lauded the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for its 71 years of service, sacrifice and commitment in safeguarding the country’s citizenry and defending sovereignty, in his speech during the PAF’s 71st anniversary at the PAF Multi-Purpose Gymnasium in Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base (CJVAB), Pasay City.

“I also take this opportunity to recognize your contributions and accomplishments in air operations for territorial defense, counter-terrorism and internal security, international defense and security engagement, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster operations among others,” the President said.

As Commander-in-Chief, President Duterte added that he is proud to have witnessed the collaborative efforts of the country’s Armed Forces in successfully reclaiming Marawi City from the terrorist groups.

“Your invaluable assistance has been fundamental not only in liberating the city, but also bringing order and stability in Mindanao and the rest of the country,” he stressed.

Furthermore, President Duterte divulged the completed acquisition of air defense surveillance radars, utility aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles that will complement the existing air assets of the PAF, aside from the additional equipment and machinery to be delivered this year. He added that the government is currently working on the implementation of the Second Horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program by 2022, with 16 projects for the PAF.

“Be assured that we will remain steadfast in supporting the Philippine Air Force as we implement the necessary reforms that will enable you to become effective agents of genuine and lasting peace,” the President stated as he spoke before the PAF officials, former PAF Commanding Generals, uniformed and non-uniformed personnel, Cabinet Secretaries, and members of the diplomatic corps present in the event.

During the celebration, the Commander-in-Chief, assisted by PAF Commanding General Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard Kintanar, Jr., administered the presentation of awards to PAF units and personnel who showcased exemplary performance in military service.

This year’s anniversary carried the theme, ‘PAF@71: Blue Team at Top Speed Integrating Efforts in Regaining Air Defense Capabilities for Peace and Resilient Development’.