Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
July 18, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the turnover of 3,000 pistols to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace.

The President spoke of the importance of having a side arm for off-duty soldiers for the purpose of self-defense and civic responsibility. He said, “Your best defense is to not let anyone know you have a gun with you,” and emphasized that they must be aware of their environment at all times. “I do not want to place you in a disadvantageous position,” he added.

President Duterte further discussed the significance of safety in and out of duty, and said that safety is a priority for everyone who wants to properly serve their country.

A step-by-step narrative on how to properly hone brand new pistols was also discussed by the President, and said that it was how his old gun club used to break-in new firearms.

The new Order of Lapu-Lapu, which aims to recognize government workers and private citizens in recognition of “invaluable or extraordinary service in nation to a campaign or advocacy of the President,” was also announced during the President’s speech.

The President created the award through Executive Order (EO) Number 17 and it is composed of three types of medals: the Lapu-Lapu Medal, Kalasag Medal, and the Kampilan Medal.

The Lapu-Lapu Medal is to be awarded to those who contribute significantly to the success of an activity related to one of the administration’s campaigns or advocacies.

The Kalasag Medal is for individuals who sacrificed their lives or property in pursuit of success for an advocacy of the administration.

The Kampilan Medal will be conferred on persons who are seriously injured in an activity or event that contributes to the administration’s advocacies

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana assisted the President in the ceremony that turned over the pistols to the AFP and its three major services — Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force). AFP Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año and the three major service commanders were present to receive the pistols.

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