FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III said thwarting the enemies of the State need the bravery and gallantry of young military and police officers like what a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 2014 whom he awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star, the second highest award in the military, has accomplished against the communist rebels, saying that they need not to be members of an elite force to be able to achieve their goals and objectives.
Speaking before the graduation rites of the 172-member Sundalong Isinilang na may Angking Galing at Lakas Handang Ipaglaban ang Bayan (Sinag Lahi) Class of 2015 of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) here, the Chief Executive said the exemplary accomplishment of 2Lt. Jerson F. Sanchez, platoon leader of the 73rd Infantry Battalion of the 1- Infantry Division based in Mindanao last February 16, 2015 where his platoon engaged more or less 30 heavily armed New Peoples Army (NPA) rebels in sitio Datal, barangay Andas, Albel, Sarangani should serve as an inspiration to the upcoming military officers to emulate.
Because of effective and efficient combat and tactical strategies coupled with sophisticated firearms and prior planning, President Aquino disclosed Sanchez platoon was able to kill 7 NPA rebels, seize at last 9 high-powered firearms, 5 improved explosive devices and other war materials as well as subversive documents with high intelligence value.
“If 2lt. Sanchez was able to thwart the enemies of the State through proper intelligence network and surveillance with less than a year in service, then we will be able to succeed in our anti-insurgency campaign and guarantee the safety and security of our people that could result to lasting peace,” the President stressed.
Although the President did not mention in his speech the Mamasapano incident that claimed the lives of 44 members of the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), he was comparing the same to the successful anti-insurgency operation led by 2Lt. Sanchez.
According to him, if every member of the graduating class can individually and collectively emulate the good deeds of 2Lt. Sanchez, the government is sure that we can pass on to the coming generations a peaceful and developed nation.
He cited all the ground works that were put in place by his administration and the coming administrations who will emulate what he had done, then the future generation of Filipinos will surely enjoy a better quality of life which they could pass on to their siblings.
He challenged the upcoming military officers to continue upholding the PMA motto of courage, integrity and loyalty and be able to thwart temptations that come their way so that the sacrifices of their predecessors will not actually be wasted.
As the country’s leader, President Aquino emphasized his administration has worked hard against rampant graft and corruption and the putting in place of economic reforms which must be valued and taken cared of for the benefit of the future leaders and people of the nation.
By Dexter A. See