Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Talk to the Troops

Event Talk to the Troops
Location Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte

Thank you for your introduction, our Presidential Adviser on Peace Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Charlie Galvez.

[Please, as you were…]

Interior and Local Government Secretary, Secretary Benhur Abalos [Jr.] of the DILG; the Special Assistant to the President, Secretary Anton Lagdameo; BARMM Chief Minister, Ahod Ebrahim; AFP Chief of Staff, Chief of Staff General Romeo Brawner Jr.; the WestMin Command, Commander Lieutenant General William Gonzales; the officers and enlisted personnel of the 8th Infantry Division, led by their commander, Major General Alex Rillera; [applause] ang aking mga kasama sa pamahalaan; ang aking mga kababayan, magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.

And a good day to all the brave soldiers of the 6th ID.

As your Commander-in-Chief, I am very happy to be in the presence of our men and women in uniform who dedicated their lives to the noble cause of national peace and stability.

I recognize the efforts of WestMin Command, the Joint Task Force Central, and the 6th ID in preventing and countering violent extremism in Mindanao.

Your sacrifices and hard work continue to safeguard the lives of our fellow Filipinos, have preserved the hard-won gains of the peace process.

To this day, you continue to show the true essence of service, and of selflessness. For that, a nation of more than a hundred million provides to you a very, very heartfelt gratitude and a snappy salute.

Despite the challenges that you have encountered, you remained steadfast in your commitment to upholding the rule of law and defending our country from various threats.

Through meaningful dialogues with stakeholders, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and other peace-inclined groups, we have helped foster an environment conducive to peace and prosperity in Bangsamoro.

You have also provided a foundation because what you have done preserving the peace provides the foundation for the reconciliation and healing in a region that has long experienced conflict.

As we fortify the gains that we have collectively achieved in the peace process, let us recognize the relationship between security, development, and governance.

In collaboration with local communities and government agencies, we work together to address the root causes of violence, which can often be attributed to the absence of opportunities in the area.

So, as peacekeepers now, in our role as peacekeepers now, we must always embrace the role of community and of nation-building.

By engaging dialogue with key stakeholders, we build resilient communities that are capable of withstanding the challenges that may come our way.

I, thus, urge you to continue working hand-in-hand with the communities, including MI and the MN-affiliated groups, through their leaders and through our local chief executives.

You must forge partnerships based on mutual respect and understanding. We can overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of peace and progress in this way.

We can create a future where every Filipino thrives and succeeds, regardless of background or circumstances.

You can help ensure that this success will be visible and felt by our people.

Kagagaling ko lang sa inyong ospital at binisita ko ‘yung mga ibang mga sugatan, ‘yung mga ating mga ibang sugatan natin.

At kahit na marami na tayong masasabi— inabot sa peace process at napakaganda ng naging progreso ng peace process ay— kaya’t lagi kong sinsabi pagka ako’y bumibisita sa mga kampo, ay sinasabi kong ngayon— ang mga sundalo ngayon hindi lamang war fighter kailangan peacemaker na rin.

Ngunit, dahil talagang malaki na ang pagbabago ng panahon, dito sa— lalong lalo na sa Southern Philippines, malaki na ang pagbabago through many efforts of government.

Many efforts, hindi lang ang pamahalaan ng Pilipinas, kung ‘di ang lahat ng mga ahensya, ang MI, ang ML, lahat ng mga tribo that were part of the old movement of separation— ay lahat yan nagsamasama at nagkasundo upang pagandahin naman ang sitwasyon ng kalagayan dito sa Mindanao at dito sa BARMM.

Ngunit, kagaya ng aking nabanggit, ako ay galing lamang sa ospital ninyo at nakibalita sa ating mga sugatan. Kaya’t kahit na kayo ay peacemaker na ngayon, even as I ask you to be peacemakers, you must continue with your core competency as war fighters because the fight is not yet over.

I am happy though to say, that we— the enemy is not taking the fight to us anymore. We are taking the fight to them and that is a sure sign of success. [applause]

To our brave troops, your role becomes even more crucial as we move forward to the future.

The upcoming first BARMM parliamentary elections in May 2025 will represent a big milestone in our journey towards a meaningful autonomy and a peaceful Bangsamoro.

I am sure that you have the ability, I know, you have the ability to secure a safe and honest conduct of these elections as this will lay the groundwork for a Bagong Pilipinas.

I am confident that the entire Filipino nation can count on you for this very important undertaking.

May the awards and recognitions that you received today inspire you to further fulfill your calling and perform your mandates even more courageously and wholeheartedly.

As your President, I join the rest of the Philippines in giving you my snappiest salute and express my deepest gratitude to you for your sacrifice.

You can [be] rest assured that, while you defend our nation against all threats, this government will continue to nurture your welfare and that of course, and that of your families. [applause]

You are an inspiration to us all, it is through your valiant efforts that we will build a strong Mindanao and a more prosperous Bagong Pilipinas for the present and for future generations.

Maraming salamat. Mabuhay ang ating mga kasundaluhan!

At keep up the good work. Thank you! [applause]