Assuring the Philippine Navy of the administration’s efforts to enhance their capability, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joined the celebration of the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary held at the Coconut Palace, CCP Complex in Pasay City on Tuesday, May 22, 2018.
President Duterte, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines congratulated the Philippine Navy for its 120 years of “unwavering service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment” to defend shores, protect seas, and secure maritime borders.
Among the highlights of the anniversary celebration included the Navy’s capability demonstration on amphibious operations, counter-terrorism, and hostage crisis response by the Naval Special Operations Group and the Marines Special Operations Group.
Aside from showcasing the Navy’s capabilities, the event honored outstanding units, officers and enlisted personnel for serving with honor and excellence.
The President congratulated the Philippine Navy for its 120 years of unwavering service, sacrifice, dedication and commitment to “defend our shores, protect our seas, and secure our maritime borders.”
“To the brave soldiers and marines of our Navy, you have made the Filipino people proud and continue to do so with gallantry in defending our sovereignty in our territorial waters, particularly in the West Philippine Sea,” President Duterte said.
President Duterte also recognized the efforts of the men and women of the Navy and Marines in the liberation of Marawi.
“It was only last year when we celebrated the Philippine Navy’s anniversary during the Marawi Siege. Then, we honored the heroic efforts of the men and women of the Navy and Marines in the liberation of Marawi. Today, we once again honor them as we make significant progress in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of that city,” President Duterte said.
The President also recognized the Navy’s accomplishments and contributions in humanitarian assistance, maritime law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and disaster relief operations.
“These noble endeavors have made our kababayans feel safer in challenging circumstances,” President Duterte said.
President Duterte also expressed confidence that together with the AFP, the country can realize its aspiration of building a strong and resilient nation.
President Duterte reiterated that he cannot afford to go to war at this time and cannot go into a battle which he cannot win, noting that it would only result in the destruction and probably a lot of losses for the Armed Forces.
“It has something to do with my desire to defend but at the same time not to make any move that would be destructive to the nation,” he said.
“Ako gusto ko, I really want to do something to assert. But you know, when I assumed the presidency, there was already this ruckus in the West Philippine Sea. It used to be China Sea,” President Duterte said.