Outgoing Philippine president thanks military for service

17:05, June 11, 2010      

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Philippines' outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Friday urged the military troops to follow the country's Constiution and thanked them for the services they rendered during her nine-year in the office.

"The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has come a long way since January 2001...Soldiers of the Filipino people, I enjoin you, carry on, be the soldiers of the Constitution that you have been all these nine years," Arroyo said on Friday.

The 120,000 soldiers gave Arroyo a testimonial parade on Friday, three weeks before she steps down as Philippine president.

Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001 through a military-backed uprising that ousted then President Joseph Estrada, an actor- turned-politician, who was later convicted of plunder.

Arroyo congratulated the AFP for its efforts to maintain the ceasefire with the cessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, noting that the number of insurgents under her term has been reduced by half.

"So, today I thank you for your farewell. It's been a great honor to have been as your commnder-in-chief especially during this period of defense reform," she said.

The AFP has recently been put under the microscope following Arroyo's appointment of Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit as the military's chief of staff.



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