Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana served as guest of honor and speaker in a ceremony held by the Western Command on Friday, March 17 in commemoration of the latter’s 41st Founding Anniversary. The program particularly celebrated the group’s success in conducting air, land and naval operations, as headed by LtGen Raul L Del Rosario.
In his speech, the Defense Secretary emphasized his full support to WesCom’s activities in Palawan, including the controversial Pagasa Islands, to maintain peace and order. He also encouraged the troops to support the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the national government, as led by the PNP and PDEA.
“Ako’y naniniwala sa inyong kakayahan at pagiging alerto sa pasulong ng kapayapaan dito sa Palawan lalo na sa ating mithiin sa West Philippine Sea pati na din sa anti-illegal drugs campaign na isinusulong ng ating Pangulo kahit pinangungunahan ito ng PNP at PDEA. We are also mandated to support this campaign,” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana also announced some of the newest plans of the Department of National Defense (DND), including a program to recruit members of the Indigenous People (IP) groups in the country into the mainstream branch of services of the DND. According to the Secretary, they plan for the IPs to constitute around 5% of their workforce.
“Yung sa ating mga IP’s kukuha tayo sa kanila para maisama sa ating mainstream…hindi naman tayo mahigpit sa mga requirements sa kanila. Kahit high school graduate lang basta may sapat na kaalaman o kung hindi maabot ang height requirement ay magwa-waiver naman tayo para sa kanila para maramdaman nila na parte sila ng lipunan at mahalaga sila,” Lorenzana explained.
Still part of the anniversary celebrations, WesCom also held a formal recognition ceremony for commendable employees and stakeholders. The new WesCom Headquarters building was also inaugurated on the said day.
WesCom Commander LtGen Del Rosario expressed his gratitude to all officials, enlisted personnel, civilian employees and everyone who fully supported the command.
“For 41 years, WesCom has always been on its dynamic obligation for serving the community with unselfish services. Serving the Palaweños has been a real honor and we, Western Command, are very grateful that we are all committed with heart to provide excellent service in protecting and securing the territory and people with the help and guide of our almighty,” said LtGen Del Rosario.