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PBBM to AFP: form ‘archipelagic consciousness’, boost PH territorial integrity, sovereignty

MANILA -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to continue working with the national government and the civilian stakeholders to form an “archipelagic consciousness” among the Filipino people in a bid to champion the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

In his speech during the AFP Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony in honor of Gen. Andres C. Centino, President Marcos urged the men and women of the AFP “to work towards an Armed Forces that is agile and prepared for any contingencies.”

The President also reiterated his assurance that the administration is firm in reinforcing the government’s pursuit by modernizing the AFP.

“Along with our efforts to strengthen our external defense capabilities, I ask you too to continue working with national government agencies and civilian stakeholders to form an archipelagic consciousness amongst Filipinos. This will help champion our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the chief executive said.

President Marcos presided over the AFP Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony for Gen. Centino who is now appointed as Presidential Adviser on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and replaced by Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. as the next AFP Chief.

The President congratulated Gen. Centino for his exemplary service and resolute commitment to peace, order and security of the Philippines as the former cited the significant strides achieved in reducing the presence and capabilities of communist and local terrorist groups.

Under Gen. Centino’s leadership, President Marcos noted, in terms of national security, the AFP has conducted hundreds of maritime air patrols and naval surface patrols, deployed hundreds of troops to defend the country’s islands and established dozens of littoral monitoring stations and detachments across the country.

“With regard to our peace support operations, the AFP has facilitated the deployment of military observers to United Nations peacekeeping operations in India and Pakistan; to the UN Mission in South Sudan; and, to the UN Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic,” Marcos said.

“I, thus, convey my utmost respect and gratitude to General Centino. As you enter your well-deserved retirement, I hope that you will continue to pursue endeavors that will benefit our fellow Filipinos and our entire nation,” he added.

The President also warmly welcomed Gen. Brawner, whom he believes will continue to ensure the security of Filipinos and the national sovereignty of the Philippines “amidst the challenges ahead.”

“Given your extensive experience in safeguarding peace in conflict-affected areas, I urge you to recalibrate our internal security operations so that we can deliver public services in geographically isolated and disadvantaged communities,” Marcos said.

“I know that your supervision will give rise to a safer and more secure nation, where more rebels return to the fold of the law and decide to be productive citizens,” he added.

Before concluding his speech, the President urged the AFP to continue protecting the interest of the Filipino people and help them fulfill their goals for themselves, their families, their communities and for the Philippines. (PND)

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Kate Shiene Austria

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Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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