Press Release
August 26, 2013


GHQ Conference Room, Camp General Aguinaldo, Quezon City
August 16, 2013

General Emmanuel T. Bautista, Chief of Staff of the AFP, Major General Marlou L. Salazar, Col. Ernesto R. Cimatu, Chief Chaplain of the AFP, guests, and brave members of the Armed Forces, a pleasant morning to all.

Over a week ago, I received a copy of the program for today and words on the front page of the program were certainly very enticing. What immediately caught my attention, however, was the clause, "the AFP Chief of Staff x x x invites you to the donning of rank and oath taking ceremony of newly commissioned reservist officer".

Nang makita ko yung salitang commission, nasabi ko sa sarili ko, aba, okay pala kako mag imbita ang AFP, itataas na ang ranggo ko eh, bibigyan pa ako ng komisyon...

...aba eh thank you very much Gen. Bautista... at kung laging ganito eh, naway mapadalas ang imbitasyon ninyo sa akin.

You know, this promotion in military rank given to me today reminds me of a funny story which I read on-line ( about a newly appointed colonel. The story goes...

...there was this newly appointed colonel who just moved into his new office. He was sitting at his desk when a private knocked on the door. Conscious of his new position, the colonel quickly picked up the phone, told the private to enter, then said into the phone, "Yes, General, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir."

Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young enlisted man, he asked, "What do you want?"

"Nothing important, sir," the private replied, "I'm just here to hook up your telephone."

On a serious note, though, I am deeply privileged to be a recipient of this promotion in military rank from major to lieutenant colonel. I have always harbored tremendous respect for members of our armed forces, and to be even considered as one of them is already truly an honor.

As you all know, I am a public servant wearing two hats--first as a legislator, and second, as a military reservist. While the functions of both offices necessarily call for service to the country, each role is very different and contrasting from the other.

A few days ago, I, along with the entire nation, ardently watched our Gilas Pilipinas slug it out with the best of the best of the Asian Region. The games were exciting, and often even thrilling.

I cheered to every basket that our boys made; ground my teeth to every defensive possession that we maintained; and stood up to recognize our team's gallant and relentless effort to ensure victory.

While watching the games, I cannot help but compare, and actually notice, the uncanny resemblance of the traits of our players from that of our soldiers--both have that unquestionable courage and never say die attitude, or as we have been chanting in the vernacular, "puso"; both have that indomitable warrior spirit; certainly, both do not mind the risk to life and limb in the name of our country; and interestingly, both have learned to be victorious in spite of their limitations.

The last one is very telling of the status of our Armed Forces.

We have brave and good soldiers who manage to perform beyond expectation and over the limitations in resources of our military.

However, as the term itself suggests, limitations will always have its limits. We can only do and achieve so much with what is available, and that is the challenge to our military and our nation as well--to empower our armed forces; to make them more than capable of defending our nation's sovereignty and the integrity of our national territory.

Needless to say, there is no better time to do this than now, and I, therefore, truly appreciate the efforts of President Aquino in prioritizing the AFP's modernization. I believe that this is something that is very imperative on the part of our government and State.

On my end, today, you have my assurance and full support for any endeavor which tends to improve our military. Especially, since, I am officially enlisted as one of you.

I end this speech with a message of peace, which I believe is something that every military man, or every one for that matter, strives and wishes for.

Today, I was donned and commissioned in the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Philippine Army Reserve...However, the paradox of being a military reservist is that while you wholly commit to the beck and call of the state should the need arise, you, nonetheless, aspire for peace and constantly pray that the day when your services will be activated... would never come.

Mapagpalang umaga po. Thank you and may peace always remain.

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