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    Human Security: The Core Of National Security

    28 January 2017 Message at the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Inc.’s Annual General Membership Assembly and Convention, AFP Theater, Camp General Aguinaldo, Quezon City delivered on 27 January 2017

    Tinuturing ko pong napakalaking karangalan ang maimbita dito sa inyong Annual General Membership Meeting.

    Iisa ang ating pagnanais na magbigay ng serbisyo para sa ating bayan—iyong tipo ng serbisyong hindi mapapalitan ng yaman o ng kahit na ano mang materyal na bagay.

    Kayong dumaan sa napakahirap na pagsasanay sa Philippine Military Academy, kayong kusang humaharap sa panganib para sa ating bayan, kayong sumumpa sa mga prinsipyong COURAGE, INTEGRITY, and LOYALTY—kayo ay nararapat na mabigyan ng karampatang pagpapahalaga sa ating lipunan.

    Lubos po akong humahanga at nagpapasalamat sa inyong sakripisyo, at lalong-lalo na sa sakripisyo ng inyong mga asawa at anak. Alam po ninyo, ngayon lang naman ako nagkaroon ng security galing sa military.

    Nakikita ko sa mga naka-assign sa akin kung gaano katindi ang commitment at gaano kahaba ang oras na binibigay nila sa kanilang trabaho. Totoo po talaga na ang sakripisyo para sa bayan, hindi natatawaran.

    Ako po mismo, matagal na akong asawa ng isang pulitiko, kaya siguro kahit papaano naiintindihan ko ang nararamdaman ng inyong mga asawa. Sinanay ko po ang aking sarili na huwag umasa na makakarating si Jesse sa lahat ng mahahalagang oksayon ng aming pamilya para maiwasan ang maraming sama ng loob.

    Alam ninyo po, sa katunayan, noong pinanganak ko ang aming pinakapanganay na anak, si Aika, mag-isa lang po ako. Dahil po kasagsagan iyon ng eleksyon. Kung naalala ninyo po, iyong pinaka unang eleksyon after EDSA, January po iyon, hindi May.

    Iyon ang pinakaunang eleksyon. January po iyong eleksyon noon at unang pagtatakbo bilang mayor ng aking asawa.

    Dapat po manganganak ako Marso. Wala pa po akong kahit anong gamit. January 12, anim na araw bago mag-eleksyon. Tumawag po sa akin ang aking asawa.

    Sabi po sa akin, kailangan ng generator para sa rally. Malaki na po tiyan ko, pitong buwan. Kailangan po ng generator para sa rally, at kung pwede magpadala ng generator, nasa bundok po sila. Nagkakampanya. Dahil po lampas 5:00PM na ng hapon, wala na po kaming driver.

    Binitbit ko iyong generator sa isang Cimarron na jeep, hindi ko alam kung naalala ninyo iyon. Buntis ako, idadrive ko na, tapos nag-radyo ulit ang asawa ko.

    Sabi niya na ang sound system niya nasira, sabi niya kung puwede din magdala ng sound system? Hindi na iyon kasya sa Cimarron na jeep. Ang nahanap ko po ang, ang aking mother-in-law nakahiram po ako ng ELF.

    Sinakay ko po iyong generator, sinakay ko po ang sound system, pitong buwan po iyong tiyan ko, dinrive ko po iyong ELF ng mother-in-law ko paakyat sa bundok, sa rough road.

    Pagdating ko sa taas, iyong running mate ng asawa ko, babae, doktor. Sabi po sa akin ng doktor na babae, parang manganganak ka na.

    Sabi ko po sa kanya, hindi po doktora, Marso pa ako manganganak. Sabi niya, puwede ba pag baba mo sa Naga mag-pacheck up ka kasi tingin ko ang laki na ng tiyan mo.

    Eh ako matigas po ang ulo ko. Pagdating ko sa Naga pinark ko ang sasakyan, umuwi po ako sa bahay kasi babalik pa ako sa aming campaign headquarters. Ayon po, hindi pa ako nakabalik sa aming campaign headquarters, pumutok po ang aking water.

    Siyempre po wala iyong asawa ko, ako na naman ang nag-drive ng sarili ko papunta sa ospital. Nanganak po ako pitong buwan, premature po si Aika, mag-isa sa ospital. Dumating po si Jesse, dumating po ang magulang ko, dumating ang aking pamilya may anak na po ako.

    Iyon po, true story po. Pero nakikita ko po, walang walang iyong sa sakripisyo ng mga asawa ninyo. Kahit sobrang busy si Jesse, nakikita pa rin namin siyang madalas dahil nasa paligid lamang namin siya.

    Pero kayo po kung saan saan po kayo naa-assign. Kaya ang pinagdadaanan po ay walang wala sa pinagdaanan ng inyong mga asawa kasi marami po akong nakwentuhan sa inyo na kahit saan naa-assign.

    Pero kami nakikita pa rin namin si Jesse kahit busy siya. Pero kayo na malalayo ang assignment hindi ko alam kung ilang beses kayo nagkikita ng inyong mga pamilya.

    Pasensya kayo, ito po ang problema sa technology.

    On the other hand, many of you were assigned to places far away from your family. This is why I encourage you to spend as much quality time with them as you can even when on active duty. Now, for those of you who are already retired, this is your time to enjoy their company.

    Pinakahihintay ko po sanang araw na dumating ang retirement ng asawa ko. Dati po noong masyado siyang busy, sinasabi ko sa sarili ko na darating ang araw na masosolo ko din siya.

    Pero sadyang di natin alam kung ano ang nakatakda. Sa isang iglap, wala na pala akong aasahan. Totoo pong malungkot na maaga siyang kinuha sa amin.

    Kaya po sana, isinasaisip natin na spending time with your family as another way of serving your nation.

    These moments keep you whole and grounded and are the reasons why we do the things that we do. Ang atin pong mga pamilya ang pinaghuhugutan natin ng lakas sa pagharap sa lahat na panganib na kaakibat ng ating mga trabaho.

    I hope you don’t mind that I don’t talk about politics today. Siguro sawang-sawa na po kayo sa pulitika. But I wish to share my thoughts on something that is extremely important in our society: the principle that human security is the core of national security.

    The biggest war we need to fight is the war on poverty, and perhaps not unknown to many, you who serve in the Armed Forces and in law enforcement are also our country’s most effective soldiers in this silent and desperate war.

    People all over the world and Filipinos living on our islands have been accustomed to equating uniformed personnel with fear and distrust. During the Spanish period, it was the Guardia Civil who terrorized the country with violence and oppression. They were eventually replaced by American soldiers, who laid waste to our countryside.

    During World War 2, this fear was personified by images of Japanese Soldiers torturing and killing Filipinos. And finally, during martial law, when, as a normal citizen, one would walk on the streets and see a person in uniform and be stricken by fear.

    These days have passed. Now, in many very far-flung areas mired in suffering, yours are the first faces they see when calamity strikes. You guard democracy in the most dangerous and remote areas when you protect the integrity of ballot boxes during elections.

    The uniforms you wear, which used to symbolize strife and conflict, have now become a symbol of hope and strength to the average Filipino. And you do these, regardless of who is in power.

    This is the purest, most touching articulation of your commitment to serve the state from threats, both foreign and domestic, in whatever form, and that your allegiance is to the Constitution rather than to any person or administration.

    In fact, our efforts to fight poverty, create inclusive and sustained progress, is truly the most effective counter-insurgency measure. I know you’ve seen this on the ground right after you graduated from the Academy—that a community that is hungry, disillusioned, and left without hope, easily joins groups that threaten our human security.

    Because you’ve seen these and experienced these first-hand, you are in a unique position to understand deeply what it takes to defend our country and how to fight with weapons not limited to hard, kinetic power. And perhaps, this deep understanding is also why, you are willing to fight up to your last breath.

    Today, our society is besieged by non-traditional and hybrid security threats. Our world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. What these extraordinary times require are extraordinary ways to express long-held values of excellence, discipline, integrity, patriotism and self-less service…values you have learned at the Academy…values that those of you who will be awarded today have exhibited…and values that will continue to see us through the different forms of conflict we face as a nation.

    We all need to be more innovative if we are to continue to be centers of excellence, upgrading our skills so that we can keep on producing outstanding leaders. Having more females among your ranks may be a great way of adding new ways of thinking, and retooling in digital and cyber security to thwart national cyber attacks or terrorism are specific ways to respond to the challenges of our time.

    Hopefully, all of these will be done in the spirit of collaboration with other sectors of society. We are discovering that the things that change the world are the ones that we do together; like the cross pollination of ideas and operational power between your distinguished alumni with those who are still in the Academy, between those of you who are in active service and those who are retired, and among the uniformed sectors with the private sector.

    I know that you are all ready to kill and die in defense of our national security, but how much more preferable is it to end war fighting and instead focus on peace building and inclusive development? Together, the impossible can be possible.

    I am with you in this work. I have much admiration for your boots and black socks—yung mga medyas na nakasama ninyo mula pa noong kadete kayo. Iyong mga medyas na naging saksi ng mahahabang lakaran at mapapanganib na laban. Iyong mga medyas na isang linggo na, hindi pa nalalabhan, ay iyon din pala ang mga medyas na poprotekta sa inyo.

    Alam ko, na sa laban, paa ang nagdadala sa inyong mga hangarin. Ganoon din po sa akin at sa aking opisina. Kung kayo may black socks, kami po, may tsinelas. Iisa lang ang ang hangarin natin—ang magsilbing buong puso sa ating bayan.

    Maraming salamat po. Long live the long gray line!

    Posted in Speeches on Jan 28, 2017