MANILA -- President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III has assured the Armed Forces of the Philippines that his administration will provide for the military and continue with its modernization program.

President Aquino, also the commander-in-chief of the 150,000-strong military, made the assurance during the turnover of AFP leadership ceremonies at the headquarters' parade grounds in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City this morning.

"Makakaasa kayo na ang inyong mga pangangailangan ay tututugan ng aking administrasyon (You can expect that this administration will provide you with whatever you need)," Aquino pointed out.

The president, however, qualified his assurance that everything will be provided "as long as they are based on principles of professionalism and utilitarianism; as long as they will benefit the whole institution and not only the interests of a few."

He further stated that if the resourced are used and allocated efficiently then "we will not only be able to improve the well-being of our armed forces but also that of our citizenry."

Aquino also ordered Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to ensure the AFP's modernization program.

"Ito ay higit na magiging instrumento pa ng inyong pagmamahal at pagsisilbi sa bayan... hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa (This [modernization] will be an instrument for your continued service to the country... it's not fitting that those concerned are left behind)," he said.

Aquino also assured the military officers whose promotions were not approved by the Commission on Appointments that due process will be observed in dealing with the issue.

"Makakasiguro kayo na hindi gagamitin ang sistema sa pagpromote ng sariling interes. Sisiguraduhin lang namin na basta dumaan sa proseso ang mga ito ay dadalihin natin sila sa lehislatura [I assure that promotions will not be carried for the personal interests of a few]," he said.(Sunnex)