By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte is confident that the Philippine Navy will achieve more milestones in protecting the Philippine waters from threats as he expressed hope that they will remain steadfast in securing the country’s future.
Duterte expressed this optimism as he led the Change of Command and Retirement Ceremony in honor of outgoing Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command (FOIC) Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad Monday.
In his six-minute speech, the President said he expects that officers and personnel of the Philippine Navy will rally behind incoming FOIC Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo as they sail [forward] under his leadership.
“Under his leadership, may you all remain steadfast in protecting our country against all threats in the seas,” he said.
“Admiral Bacordo, I am confident that our Navy under your leadership will continue to achieve more milestones in the campaign to protect the freedoms and democratic values that we hold dear,” he added.
Duterte, likewise, hopes that Bacordo will become the embodiment of integrity and valor as he leads the Philippine Navy in securing the seas and the future of the country.
The President also assured the Philippine Navy of his full support and that his administration will always assist in enhancing their capabilities as they pursue a more peaceful future for all.
“Together, let us embody solidarity as we sail on toward a more stable and a prosperous society,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte commended Empedrad for his successful tour of duty, saying he will be remembered for fostering a dependable and credible naval force the country can be proud of.
“Let me take this occasion to acknowledge your more than three decades of [a] professional career in the Armed Forces of the Philippines. And on behalf of a grateful nation, I thank you for your remarkable service, sir,” he said.
“Your most recent efforts in spearheading humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations for our compatriots working in Iran and those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano vividly attest to your faithful adherence to military professionalism and selfless dedication to duty,” he added.
Duterte said under Empedrad’s leadership, the country was able to increase its naval presence in Philippine waters, deter various threats, defend the nation’s sovereignty from foreign elements, maintain peace and order in Mindanao during martial law, and protect the people against terrorism, smuggling, and human trafficking.