GHQ Grandstand, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City
December 20, 2017

“I congratulate the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for more than eight decades of honor, service, patriotism. To this day, you continue to play a crucial role in safeguarding our citizenry and securing our land,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to the brave men and women of the AFP during their 82nd anniversary themed, ‘AFP @ 82: Protecting the People, Securing the State,’ at the GHQ Grandstand in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“Although we have already begun to rebuild Marawi City and rehabilitate conflict-affected areas, our fight is far from over. We will remain vigilant as we continue our instensified military operation against the remaining terrorist groups,” continued the President as he asked the men and women of the AFP to continue their dedication and bravery in the fight against extremist terrorists and communist insurgents.

President Duterte outlined the administration’s plan of subsidizing Php 50 million per month to the AFP Medical Center and another Php 50 million to the AFP to help cover the medication and hospitalization of soldiers and their families.

He reiterated the ongoing project of establishing a fund for the families of both the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) members, saying, “Do not worry about your families… the Philippine government will always be there and see to it that your children will continue to go to school until college time.”

President Duterte also spoke about the administration’s efforts to include the doubling of basic pay of soldiers in the General Appropriations Act of 2018, thus ensuring the changes to soldiers’ salaries be reflected in the first month of 2018.

On another matter, President Duterte told the story on the creation of the Order of Lapu-Lapu medals that are awarded exclusively by the Office of the President (OP) to show solidarity and to express gratitude to those who help and sacrifice for their country.

During the event, several awards were presented by the President, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero, and other military officers to the family of a Killed-in-Action (KIA) soldier, to multiple Wounded-in-Action (WIA) peacekeepers, and other military heroes who fought for peace during the Marawi siege and against the New People’s Army (NPA).

Afterwards, President Duterte spent some time inspecting the newly acquired hardware of the AFP including reconnaissance drones, combat, support and transport vehicles, as well as large-bore cannons.

The President also visited the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) TienDA booths in the camp that sells farm products directly from farmers and fisherfolks to consumers, cutting out the middleman to ensure fair price for consumers and good income for the producers.

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