Aquino pledges to modernize Philippine armed forces

18:51, July 02, 2010      

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Friday pledged to push the modernization of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In his first speech as commander-in-chief at the turnover ceremony for AFP Chief Ricardo David Jr., Aquino said he expects " professionalism, integrity, discipline, valor, and hardworking" from AFP.

Aquino ordered Voltaire Gazmin, new defense secretary, to continue the modernization of the Armed Forces and to attend to the needs of the soldiers, admitting that they would not be able to perform their duties if they are lacking in basic needs.

"Tell us what you need, and we will give it to you as long as they are based on principles of professionalism and utilitarianism, as long as they will benefit the whole institution and not only the interests of the few," he said.

He also said the number of soldiers must be increased so that it is proportionate to the increasing population.

Aquino also expects the new Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ricardo David "not only decisive leadership but an innovative spirit to drive reform into the Armed Forces as well as the effective and efficient realization of the national defense and security thrusts that I have just outlined."



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