Aquino reaffirms confidence in Defense chief-A A +A
Monday, November 4, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III reaffirmed Monday his trust and confidence in Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, who earlier allegedly provided the Chief Executive wrong information regarding the concrete blocks spotted within the Panatag Shoal.
Aquino, in a keynote speech during the flag raising ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, cited the loyalty of Gazmin to the country even during the presidency of his late mother, Corazon Aquino.
Gazmin, then a colonel, was Mrs. Aquino's Group Commander of the Presidential Security Group.
Aquino recalled that Gazmin faced several coup attempts during the time of Mrs. Aquino and yet he never turned his back.
"Maraming salamat kay Sec. Volts (referring to Gazmin); talaga naman pong hanggang ngayon, tinatanaw ko pa ring utang ng loob ang kanyang katapatan sa serbisyo," he said.
Under his administration, the President said that Gazmin continued to serve the public.
During the Zamboanga standoff in September, he said that Gazmin was one among the Cabinet officials who immediately responded and went to Zamboanga City.
"Hindi po siyang nag-atubiling akuin ang tungkulin na pumronta sa ating hanay. Kayo nga po ang tanong ko: Sinong hindi matutuwa sa tulad niyang walang pinipiling panahon sa paglilingkod?," he said.
"Alam kong nasa mabuting kamay ang mga operasyon at istratehiya natin, dahil walang takot at laging in-control itong si Secretary Volts. Sa pinagsama nilang husay at talento ni General Manny Bautista, epektibo nilang pinamunuan ang pagpigil sa masamang tangka ng rebeldeng grupo," the President added.
Gazmin recently expressed readiness to step down from his post following the statements he made in September that China was starting to do construction in Panatag Shoal after the military spotted concrete blocks in the disputed area off Zambales province.
However, it was the President himself who confirmed later that the concrete blocks with barnacles were very old.
There were even reports that those blocks were constructed by the United States decades ago when there were still American bases in the country. SDR/Sunnex)