Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos at the Philippine Marine Corps 72nd Birthday Celebration and Cake Cutting Ceremony

Event Philippine Marine Corps 72nd Birthday Celebration and Cake Cutting Ceremony
Location Naval Station Jose Francisco in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Thank you very much, Usec. Jose Faustino Jr. [Please take your seats.]

Chief of Staff AFP Lieutenant General Bartolome Vincent Bacarro; Philippine Navy Inspector General Major General Jonas Lumawag; Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Charlton Sean M. Gaerlan; to all our gallant Marines, their families, stakeholders, the employees, service personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; honorable guests; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

This is a remarkable day for all as we celebrate the 72nd Birthday of the Philippine Marine Corps.

But let me just say before I go on with my speech that it was a very pleasant surprise to relive the time that I spent with the Marines, and it was really the beginning of my time in the military. And it is a time that I had found that I was a little intimidated to go.

Sabi ko, “Mahirap ito mga Marines. Masyadong magaling ‘yang mga ‘yan. They are very — they are tough — they are a tough bunch.” At again ‘yung sinabi ko doon sa interview, the Marines taught me that even if you think you cannot manage it, if you dig deep, you will be able to.

And that is one — just one of the many, many lessons that I learned when I spent time with the Philippine Marine Corps and in the military. The other invaluable lesson is the lesson of camaraderie, which I have not found anywhere else outside of the military. [applause]

That form of camaraderie and brotherhood that is formed between people who live together, who fight together, who bleed together is a different kind of camaraderie, it is a different form of brotherhood. And it is something that is more valuable than anything else, especially for those in the military.

So today I take great pride in watching the success of the Philippine Marine Corps that started as a group of volunteers and is evolving now to be a capable force under the Philippine Navy. Let me extend my most sincere congratulations to everyone who has made this possible, past and present.

I am one with the Filipino people to commend the accomplishments of the Marine Corps through the years, especially in securing and fostering peace and order in our country. It began when you fought the communist armed forces in the 1950s. You have also defended the nation from terrorist and separatist groups in the succeeding years.

During disasters and emergencies, they can always be counted on to respond to the call of duty. So despite the challenges that you have endured and surpassed, you still proved to be courageous and resilient in helping our countrymen in times of emergencies and calamities.

I thank you all for always being true Marines and going above and beyond. Your bravery has greatly enabled the Filipinos in contributing to the nation-building efforts. And the nation-building efforts of this administration, we count once again on that support from the Marine Corps.

It is also laudable that you have been at the forefront of our efforts towards securing our littoral zones, which also mirrors the administration’s commitment to protect the country’s territorial integrity.

Indeed, your determination, and your commitment, and the valor that you demonstrate in protecting our nation from various threats to our peace and security is a testament not only [of] your faithfulness to duty, but also your loyalty and patriotism to the motherland.

You have been among the beacons of pride, service, and strength of our nation.

I hope that you will continue to demonstrate exemplary service and nationalism as you have always shown throughout your history. May you pass on these virtues to the next generation of Marines.

We will work harmoniously towards our collective goal of serving the Filipino people, asserting our sovereignty, as well as defending the country’s territorial integrity.

I am confident that with you, we will be able to protect the Republic of the Philippines from all threats, sustain our identity, and promote our national interests for the benefit of all.

Let me assure you that the government remains firm and committed to enhancing the Marine Corps by means of the AFP modernization.

We will use the resources to provide each of you the support that will help you fulfill your responsibilities, realize your full potential, and to achieve success in your mission.

As the leader of our nation and your Commander-in- Chief, I assure you of my full support for the continued success of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Marine Corps.

Once again, happy birthday, Marines! Mabuhay kayong lahat! [applause]

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