Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 120th Founding Anniversary of The Philippine Army
HPA, Grandstand, Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City
04 April 2017

Kindly sit down. 

Commander, could you give the tikas pahinga to the troops? Thank you.

Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and members of the Cabinet present; General Eduardo Año; Lieutenant General Glorioso Miranda; major service commanders; Most Rev. Leopoldo Tumulak; the officers, men, and women of the Philippine Army; fellow workers in government; my beloved countrymen.

Since the establishment of the Philippine Army 120 years ago, our history is replete with tales of our soldiers’ great sacrifices and significant victories to best protect our people and our national sovereignty.

With primordial duty to serve the country, our army’s acts of courage and bravery give assurance to our people to live in peace and stability.

As we continue to face both perennial and fresh security challenges, this administration guarantees that our soldiers are well provided with the necessary training, equipment and benefits before they go into war.

In line with the government’s modernization program on the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we have been providing telecommunication apparatus and fire power and infantry fighting vehicles to the Army.

This was among the priority initiatives we immediately undertook when I assumed the presidency in July last year.

We have allocated almost 6.5 billion pesos for Philippine Army projects under the Revised AFP Modernization Plan, which will be used to procure individual equipment such as rifles, pistols, grenade launchers and force protection armors. 

Last September, I signed an Executive Order increasing the combat pay of all members of the Armed Forces from 500 pesos to 3,000 pesos per month [applause]; and their combat incentive pay from 150 pesos to 300 pesos per day. This modest increase will definitely help the families while our soldiers are in the battlefield.

The Department of Budget and Management is also working on the proposed compensation adjustment to increase the base pay and hazard pay of our military personnel.

I have directed the GSIS to study the possibility of having a housing loan program that will complement the soldier’s ability to pay. I believe that soldiers will be more confident to perform their mandate knowing that their loved ones are secure and well-sheltered.

But remember, it is not only the acts of chaos and terror that you must end. I trust that the Philippine Army and all branches of the military will continue to help us in our drive against illegal drugs. 

This is a serious call not only to you, but to all Filipinos, including your loved ones, whose lives may be affected or lost, if you will not help resolve it. 

Without you, our government will not be able to eradicate the ills of society that have been crippling our development for a long time.

The Philippines will truly be a harmonious and a progressive nation with you—our soldiers—as our country’s vanguards of peace, freedom and justice.

Bago po ako maghinto meron lang po akong paki-usap. This ruckus in Bulacan eh parang inagaw ng mga kapwa nating Pilipino na mahirap rin.

I will look into the matter seriously and I will ask you soldiers and the policemen, bitawan na lang ninyo ‘yan, ibigay na lang natin sa kanila tutal mahirap sila.

But I promise you, I will look for another land nearby or adjacent or maybe contiguous to that area there [applause] and gagawa ako ng mas maganda. May tubig na at may electric na pagpasok ninyo. It would be… [applause] 

Maraming dynamics diyan. Walang tubig, walang ano, and kulang and hindi maganda ang pagkagawa. Those were not during my times but I have asked the National Housing Authority to look for a suitable land at papalitan ko na lang ‘yan on equal numbers. Huwag na lang natin guluhin ‘yang mga tao diyan kasi lumalaban eh. And their only sin is just really mahirap rin sila kagaya natin.

So bigyan ko kayo nang mas maganda, mas konting mahal, mas komportable at mas malaki. [applause] Ngayon, ‘yung Kadamay, ibigay ko na lang ‘yan sa inyo. Paalisin ko na lang… Huwag ninyong paalisin ‘yung mga sundalo pati pulis na nandiyan na. But eventually they will be removed and transferred to a new na mas maganda pa sa inyong inagaw. Para hindi na kayo mag-ano.

Ayaw ko kasing pilitin ang issue because it would somehow result in bugbugan, magpaluan and to think that our sin is just talagang mahirap lang tayo.

So I still have the money. Tinanong ko ang NHA. Sabi niya, “Sir, marami pa tayong pera.” Ayan ang pinakamalaking ibinuhos ko, agriculture, education, pabahay.

Sabi ko, “Pwede natin ibigay furnished na?” “Oo, sir.” Sabi nila, “Basta utos mo.” [applause] Kama lang. Okay na ‘yung kama, furnished na kama. Iyon namang kailangan mo.

Well anyway, I said, I am asking you kung maaari lang. Do not be offended. Take it with an open mind. Ako na mismo, inyong Presidente, nakikiusap sa inyo. Let us not wage a fight against our own people. Tutal mahirap lang ‘yan sila, intindihin na lang ninyo. And I will build another housing project for you soonest and I intend to complete it by December. [applause] 

Kayong mga awardees, kung in the fullness of God’s time, maybe by December pipilitin ko talagang matapos at doon na lang kayo. Huwag na lang kayong makipag-away, wala ring kwenta eh. Tapos ang pulis, kayo may baril and, you know, something could go awfully wrong.

Hayaan na lang natin basta nakita ng mga Pilipino, that is the behavior of some but I said, to me their only sin is just they are also poor like us.

But just the same, I am making you the commitment and I guarantee that you will have yours, mas maganda. Walang mga problema because I will personally go there to supervise your housing project. And hopefully by December, mag-dasal lang tayong lahat that everything goes well and you can transfer to the new house.

Forget about… Iyong mga Kadamay nandiyan, huwag ninyong galawin ang mga sundalo pati pulis. Kasi ‘pag hindi, tuluyan paalisin ko kayong lahat. Do not create trouble, avoid chaos, and we will try to solve what ails this country.

Maraming salamat po. [applause]