Lorenzana on being Duterte's Defense chief: 'No regrets'

Published June 29, 2022, 1:38 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Outgoing Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has cherished every moment of his life as President Duterte’s go-to person in matters related to the country’s defense and security.

(Photo courtesy of Armed Forces of the Philippines)

Lorenzana said that he has “no regrets” in being Duterte’s Defense chief in the past six years as he believed the experience was all but a “rewarding journey.”

“When I look back at my military career that started when I was a cadet in high school, followed by my cadetship in the Philippine Military Academy, commissionship in the Army and all throughout those years until today, I couldn’t have achieved what I have done or reached this high, this far, without the help, assistance, and mentorship of so many people along the way,” he said during the testimonial parade and review organized for him by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Tuesday, June 28.

“Of course, it is also because I belong to a very professional organization – the Armed Forces of the Philippines. I have no regrets, I have fought the good fight. It was all an exciting, challenging, and personally rewarding journey,” he added.

Gen. Andres Centino, led the ceremony in honor of the 73-year-old Defense Chief whose term will end on June 30. He recognized Lorenzana’s “full support” to the organization’s various campaigns and programs.

“The testimonial parade and review is the AFP’s acknowledgment of the contribution and service of the SND [Secretary of National Defense], a collective salute and appreciation of his life in government service,” Centino said.

(Photo courtesy of Armed Forces of the Philippines)

Lorenzana’s relentless efforts led to the continuation of the revised military modernization program which saw the AFP acquire new capital assets such as ships, helicopters and fighter planes, missiles, drones, and others.

“The SND was also on top of the pressing need to ensure that our personnel would have the technical proficiency to utilize the modern assets and equipment to the fullest,” Centino added.

The AFP Chief also cited Lorenzana’s guidance and leadership to the AFP during some of the country’s most challenging times including the Marawi siege in 2017, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

He said Lorenzana gave equal importance to the implementation of the Barangay Development Program (BDP) to address communist insurgency and the Tatak ng Imrastraktura para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad (TIKAS) Program with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to build and improve more military facilities nationwide.

Lorenzana was also instrumental to the Commander-in-Chief’s approval of the salary increase of military personnel, and the provision of decent homes to the families of soldiers who were killed in action.

“Today, the AFP can say we have better workspaces, living quarters, medical health facilities, and road networks, all of which means a stronger, more productive, and more responsive AFP,” Centino said.