Press Release
May 23, 2022

House Concurrent Resolution No. 23

Mr. President, I rise today with zeal and utmost pride to co-sponsor House Concurrent Resolution No. 23, granting consent to my fellow alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy, Hon. Delfin N. Lorenzana, Secretary of National Defense, and Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, former AFP Chief of Staff, together with several other military personnel, to receive the awards to be conferred to them by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, his excellency Joko Widodo.

Mr. President, these gentlemen are no strangers to us especially with their outstanding performances during the early stages of their career. Secretary Lorenzana was the former Commander of the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion who was responsible for preserving the peace and order in my hometown, the Davao Region, during the height of insurgency back in the late 80s. Former AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Sobejana, on the other hand, has been awarded a Medal for Valor in 1995, the highest award granted by the AFP for gallantry in combat.

Mr. President, the heroic acts of our military personnel have always been celebrated and recognized by the government for their immeasurable devotion to the country and exceptional bravery, through conferment of various awards and decorations. As a former soldier myself, I know that any award granted is only an additional incentive, a "bonus" as they call it, as it has always been our love for the country and the altruistic feeling of serving our fellow Filipinos that we consider as our sole and primary motivation.

An award and commendation extended by the international community, however, takes an exception. To our men in uniform, this is probably the highest award a soldier can receive as not only does this achievement recognize them individually, but it is an opportunity for them to raise our flag beyond the country's national territory.

Unquestionably, Mr. President, the service that Secretary Lorenzana, Gen. Sobejana, together with our military personnel, has reached beyond our jurisdiction, far enough that it even reached our neighboring countries like Indonesia.

With the conferment of the "Peace Medal" and "Dharma Defense Medal," our awardees became a true living testament of our capability of becoming a "world-class armed forces." A true embodiment of the AFP's core values of honor, service, and patriotism.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank President Widodo for this initiative which will certainly strengthen the friendship between the Philippines and Indonesia. To Secretary Lorenzana, Gen. Sobejana and the rest of the military personnel, maraming salamat sa karangalang muli ninyong ibinigay sa ating bansa. Nawa'y kayo'y maging inspirasyon sa ating kasundaluhan at ng bawat Pilipino sa pagpapanatili ng kapayapaan at seguridad ng ating bansa. Mabuhay po kayo!

Thank you, Mr. President.

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