Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace
August 23, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the oath-taking ceremony of newly appointed generals and flag officers, including Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Ricardo R. Visaya, at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace.

“We will see to it that we hand over to the next generation of Filipinos, a government that is relatively drug-free and I hope that we finally able to hurdle the culture of corruption that is really prevalent. It is really pulling us down. So there would be an ongoing purge and sadly, so many will be unhappy. But for the more than so many million Filipinos, I’m sure you would be happy what we in government are doing,” he said.

The President also said he is still considering Gilbert Teodoro as Defense Secretary, whom he had supported in the 2010 elections. But if the latter still declines the post, he will look for someone else among the ranks.

On peace talks, the President assured the generals and the flag officers that he will negotiate with the leftist groups to ensure lasting peace.

“As a President, my duty is to seek peace and not to wage war, that is not my primary duty, that is not a duty of a President. If I could have a working arrangement with the left communist party of the Philippines and itong si Nur Misuari and Murad would agree, I think we will have a good chance, the future of your children are really brighter than what it is now,” he said.

Following his speech, the President posed for a photo opportunity with the families of the newly appointed generals and flag officers.

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