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Aquino assures Filipino soldiers of government’s continued support

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President Benigno S. Aquino III assured every Filipino soldier of the government’s continued support to uplift their lives and its efforts to modernize their resources that will ensure better service to the Filipino people.

In his speech during the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony of Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena at the Grandstand of the Jesus Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Tuesday, the President cited the hard work and dedication of every soldier, particularly from the PAF as he vowed to continue providing beneficial projects for a more effective service to the people.

“Makaaasa kayo na katuwang ninyo ang gobyerno upang makalipad pa sa mas mataas na papawirin at mas epektibong makapaglingkod ang hukbong himpapawid sa atin pong mga boss (Filipino people),” the President said.

“Mulat po tayong kailangan pang palakasin ang inyong hanay, kaya naman makaaasa kayo sa tuloy-tuloy na modernisasyon ng inyong hanay upang mas mapabuti pa ang inyong serbisyo publiko… manalig kayo na hindi babalewalain ng ating administrasyon ang inyong pagmamalasakit sa bayan… susuklian natin ito ng karampatang kalinga at serbisyo para sa inyong kapakanan at ng inyong pamilya,” he added.

The President acknowledged the remarkable works of outgoing Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena in maintaining peace and order and defending the country’s sovereignty.

“Buong bansa tayong nagpupugay sa sipag at husay na ipinamalas ni Heneral Rabena sa halos tatlumpu’t walong taon ng paglilingkod sa ilalim ng ating bandila… sa kanyang pamumuno higit na umigting ang ating krusada laban sa masasamang elemento at tumibay ang kalasag ng bansa laban sa mga banta sa seguridad ng ating soberenya,” the President noted.

Rabena’s stint as PAF commanding general has been very helpful in the Aquino administration’s initiatives to uplift the lives of the PAF personnel as well as in upgrading their equipment. These developmental programs include housing and facilities of the military bases in the country.

President Aquino likewise expressed full trust and confidence to the new PAF chief, Maj. Gen. Lauro Catalino dela Cruz saying that under his stewardship, the “Airmen” will surely continue to be dedicated to service for their fellowmen and will focus on doing their duties based on righteousness.

“Mahalaga po ang magkaroon ng isang mahusay at maaasahang pinuno, kaya naman tinitiyak natin sa pagtahak sa tuwid na daan, kasangga natin ang mga mapagkakatiwalaan at karapat-dapat na lider… lalo na sa atin Hukbong Himpapawid,” the President said.

“Tiwala akong sa bagong pinuno ng Philippine Airforce na si Heneral Lauro Catalino dela Cruz lalo pang titibay ang dedikasyon ng inyong hanay sa pagsisilbi ng tapat sa sambayanan at patuloy na isasapuso ng mga sundalong Pilipino ang makatwirang paninindigan,” he added.

Also present during the event were other government officials led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa and Philippine National Police Chief General Nicanor Bartolome, among others.

The seasoned fighter pilot Dela Cruz assumed the position as the 32ndCommanding General of the PAF after Rabena’s availment of early retirement from military service after almost four decades.

Dela Cruz said that under his leadership the people could expect a better Air Force as “Wings for Peace and Defenders of Freedom” responding to territorial defense works as well as disaster response.

The newly-installed PAF chief held key positions in the military force among which are -- Chief of Air Staff, Wing Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, Deputy Wing Commander of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, and Deputy Wing Commander of the 710th Special Operations Wing.

He also served as flight instructor, training officer, management and operations officer and pilot instructor at the Philippine Air Force Flying School.

By PCOO/PIA9-ZBST




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