PH capable of defending territory, says PNoy

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2012 06:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 07:11 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - President Aquino said the Philippine Navy is now more capable of defending the country’s territory given the increase in the Navy’s resources and equipment.
 
Aquino made the comment during the change of command ceremony at the Philippine Navy headquarters.
 
“Dahil sa inyong pagpupursige at tapang, dahil sa kahandaang ninyong manindigan para sa ating teritoryo at karapatan, maaari na tayong humarap sa kahit sino at ipagsigawang, ‘Philippine Navy ako. Pilipino ako, marangal at matatag. Ngayon, hindi na lamang tayo kinikilala bilang lugar na binubuo ng mahigit pitong libo isang daang mga magkakahiwalay na isla. Bagkus, tinitingala tayo bilang isang matibay na bansang naninindigan para sa ating soberanya at karapatan, isang lahing may tunay na lakas at kakayahan na ipaglaban ang tunay na pag-aari ng ating bayan,” Aquino said in his speech. 
 
“Para sa buong pwersa ng ating Hukbong Dagat: Maraming salamat sa pagtupad ninyo sa inyong tungkuling protektahan ang ating teritoryo at ilayo sa kapahamakan ang ating mga kababayan.”
 
“Dahil sa aktibong operasyon ng ating limang Coast Watch centers, gayundin ng dalawampung coast watch stations sa iba’t ibang panig ng bansa, nababantayan at napoprotektahan natin ang ating karagatan at agarang nahaharang ang masasamang elemento na nagtatangkang maglabas-masok sa ating teritoryo,” he added. 
 
Aquino said the military will be able to acquire more equipment with the recent enactment of the AFP modernization law that provides a P75-billion fund for the next five years. 
 
Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano assumed his post as the Navy’s new Flag Officer in Command, replacing Vice Admiral Alexander Pama.
 
But Pama’s retirement may just be short-lived as Aquino hinted his intention to appoint him to a government post as he praised Pama’s work ethic and character.
 
“Tinanggap ang misyon, matagumpay na nagawa ang misyon, at ni minsan hindi nagpalusot at ‘pag may mali, inako ang pagkakamali at itinuwid agaran. Kaya po Mrs. Pama, please enjoy your well-deserved rest from a grateful nation. We will get back to you in two months after your break because I think the country will not be served properly if we do not try and keep him in government,” Aquino.
 
Meantime, Aquino pledged to make a donation to the Support Your Navy foundation after noting the “little” P1 million amount that it has raised for the Navy’s educational and health programs.