BY: LCOL EDGARD A AREVALO PN(M)
Director, Naval Public Affairs Office
23 June 2010
The Philippine Navy rendered a Testimonial Parade and Review at 8 this morning, 23 June 2010 for outgoing Defense Secretary, Hon Norberto B Gonzales, at the Naval Station Jose Francisco, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. More than just a tradition, the gesture manifests the Navy’s homage to the Defense Chief who staunchly supports Navy modernization and its advocacy of a strong and credible navy in the service of our maritime nation.
Rear Admiral Danilo M Cortez, Acting Flag Officer In Command, Philippine Navy thanked the Defense Secretary for his legacy of making professional Sailors and Marines under his stint at the defense establishment. Calling Sec Gonzales a patriot, RADM Cortez cited the outgoing Secretary’s contribution to nation building giving particular attention to environmental protection. He later presented the memento to Sec Gonzales, a miniature Lantaka in a glass case. The Lantaka or the swivel cannons are the weapons mounted on Lakan’s ships called Caracoas during the battle against the Spaniards. These cannons were also commissioned by Rajah Sulayman on the fortification of Manila. Years later, Lantakas were used by Moros against the US troops during the Moro rebellion.
In his speech, Sec Gonzales declared that the AFP is the most stable institution that the country has today. That being so, the Philippine Navy in particular should make a bold stand and make its presence felt in the life of the nation. He also exhorted the soldiers to remain united, solid, and loyal to the Constitution. Sec Gonzales added that the AFP today occupies a bigger role in the society to help people who are in need. The AFP, particularly the Sailors and Marines have endeared itself to Filipinos by giving a helping hand in times of need, wherever help is needed.
“Climate change brings challenges today that not even scientists are sure of. We need an organization or institution that will be prepared when disasters strike, anywhere and anytime. With no other institution in the country today capable as the AFP, you have to be there for the people. To hold their hands and give assistance”.
The Defense Secretary also gave his assurance to the members of the Navy and other officers present from the Army and Air Force of his support to the AFP: “You have many friends in all corners of the society. We will be standing behind you. We will be there”.