Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City
1 July 2016

The new President and Commander-in-Chief Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Change of Command Ceremony in honor of outgoing Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Glorioso V. Miranda and his replacement, Lt. Gen. Ricardo R. Visaya, at the AFP General Headquarters Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo.

A battalion composed of soldiers from the Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Navy (PN), Philippine Air Force (PAF), and the AFP General Headquarters welcomed the new President during the Pass-in-Review.

In his speech, President Duterte emphasized the role of the President to unify the country, citing his intention to talk with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) leader Jose Maria Sison and other rebel leaders including Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“Alam mo, the first job of the President is not to go to war, but rather to bring peace to his land,” President Duterte said.

He added that the war against left-leaning groups and the Moro rebels is “not a war to be fought forever. We cannot fight forever,” he stressed.

The Commander-in-Chief also brought up the war on drugs and the continued presence in the streets of products made by drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison.

“May problema diyan. Hinihiya ninyo ang gobyerno, sinasampal ninyo kami…” the President said.

He continued by alerting his listeners, “The [illegal] drugs must be suppressed. It cannot be eliminated, for as long as the greed for money is there, the very corrosive effect of money has had an impact on our society.”

The President finished his speech with a stern warning to all criminals saying, “Do not destroy my country… Do not destroy my children…”

Other notable guests of the ceremony were former President Fidel V. Ramos and the new Vice President Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo.

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