CLARK AIR BASE, Pampanga — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, October 24, enjoined the Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel to remain committed to their duties, as he pledged the government’s full support to the men and women of the Air Force.
The President led the PAF Change of Command and Retirement ceremony for outgoing PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina, who will be succeeded by Lieutenant General Galileo Gerard Kintanar, Jr.
The Commander-in-Chief congratulated Gen. Fallorina for his successful tour of duty, noting that PAF had made remarkable organizational improvements under his leadership, saying:
“I am confident that the PAF is in good order, with several improvements initiated by Lt. Gen. Fallorina and the upgrades made under his administration.”
Fallorina established the command framework, “Jointly Engaged Transforming Force for Greater Peace and Security”, and reactivated the Tactical Operations Command and the Air Defense Command.
In addition, under Fallorina, the Philippine Air Force also performed aerial reconnaissance and maritime patrol missions over the West Philippine Sea, the Benham Rise and other parts of the Philippine territory.
The Air Force has provided humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, such as aerial reconnaissance over calamity-stricken areas, and airlifting of support personnel, relief goods, and victims.
The Air Force also deployed several aircraft and more than 400 personnel to Marawi City for combat support and troop movement operations.
The Chief Executive lauded the PAF for supporting internal security operations, mostly on the ongoing military operations in Mindanao, where it provided air assets for troop movement and close air support to ground troops against the Abu Sayyaf Group and other local terrorist groups.
The President assured that the government would give its full support to PAF as it performs its mandate, citing the two C130s and 12 FA-50 aircraft which were added to the organization since July 2016.
President Duterte committed to promote the welfare of all PAF personnel and their families.
“We recognize the valor and the sacrifices of the PAF personnel who were killed and wounded in action, particularly the casualties caused by the conflict in Marawi City.”
“That you have left your families and the comfort of your homes to serve the country is truly praiseworthy. Indeed, the Philippines and our people are indebted to you because of the sacrifices you have made every single day.”
“May you always stay faithful to the Constitution and the people whom you have sworn to protect. Truly, you have made our country safer and more secure.”
-Pres. Rodrigo Duterte
The Chief Executive urged the country’s troops to continue performing their duties well, especially as martial law remains in effect in Mindanao and with the persisting threats of terrorism and insurgency.
President Duterte noted the significant headway made in ridding the country of the scourges of criminality, insurgency, terrorism and corruption thanks to the invaluable contributions of the Philippine airmen, noting that there could never be a task “more ennobling than that.”