Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
20 December 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III led the 78th founding anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) held in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

In his keynote address, President Aquino expressed his gratitude to the AFP for showing bravery and integrity in the line of service, as the country faced a number of challenges this year. And as part of the anniversary program, he also conferred awards to distinguished soldiers who selfishly offered their lives in the service of the nation.

Bearing the theme “Tagumpay Noon, Bayanihan ngayon, Karangalan nating lahat bukas,” one of the highlights of this year’s celebration is the acquisition of three brand new August Westland 109 Power Helicopters for the Philippine Navy. Costing a total of P1.33 billion, these aircrafts will be used for future defense functions of the AFP. Two more of these are expected to arrive in 2014.

“Sa harap nga po ng mga pagsubok, malaki ang inaasahan sa ating mga kawal. Kaya naman marapat lang na bigyan kayo ng estado ng sapat na kapasidad upang tumugon sa inyong tungkulin. Hindi na po manhid ang gobyerno sa pangangailangan ninyo; ang tugon natin: tuloy-tuloy na modernisasyon,” the President said.

Present during the event are AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista and National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.