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Duterte to PAF men: Do your duties well, threats of terrorism still linger.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday lauded the sacrifices of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in the liberation of Marawi City as he urged airmen to remain committed to their duties as the country still faces threats of terrorism.

Duterte attended the change of command of PAF here as Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kinatar Jr. assumed his post as the commanding general of PAF. Kintanar replaced Lt. Gen. Edgar Fallorina.

'I enjoin our troops to continue performing their duties well, especially as martial law remains in effect in Mindanao, and there are persisting threats of terrorism and [insurgency],' Duterte said in his speech.

He assured that the government 'is committed to promote the welfare of all PAF personnel and their loved ones.

'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.

'You have supported internal security operations, mainly on the ongoing military operation in Mindanao, where the PAF provided the air assets for troop movement and close air support to ground troops against the Abu Sayyaf Group and the other [local] terrorist groups,' he added.

The President also recognized humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations of PAF over calamity-stricken areas and airlift of assisting personnel, relief goods and victims were done as well.

'The PAF has also [deployed] several aircraft and more than 400 personnel to Marawi City for combat support and troop movement operations,' he said.

'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,' he added.

Duterte reiterated his support for the continued modernization of PAF.

'I am confident that the PAF is in good order, with the several improvements initiated by Lt. Gen. Fallorina and the upgrades made under his administration,' he said.

'I assure you that the PAF [has the] government's full support as you perform your mandate as an organization. In fact, two C130s and 12 FA-50 aircraft have been added to the PAF since July of last year,' he added.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Oct 24, 2017
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