President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. spent part of his first working day marking the 75th founding anniversary of the Philippine Air Force at Haribon Hangar in Clark Air Base in Mabalacat City, Pampanga, emphasizing the importance of military preparedness.
“We have a foreign policy to be friendly to all and an enemy to none, but we shall remain alert and ready to defend [the country] to the hilt,” Marcos said.
Before going to Malacanang, Marcos attended mass at the San Miguel Parish Church inside the Palace compound. The mass was officiated by Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula.
Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio also attended the mass, as did other Cabinet secretaries and officials.
In other developments:
• The President has chosen Bahay Pangarap as his official residence, Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said. “From what I’ve told, the First Family will be staying in the Pangarap which is on the other side of the Palace” Romualdez, a relative of the new president, told CNN Philippines.
• The National Library of the Philippines said the Bible used during Marcos’s inauguration was the same one used during the inaugural ceremony of his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., in 1965.
To defend Filipinos, the President said the country’s airmen must be equipped with “more state-of-the-art fighter planes and armed with more firepower.”
“It is my honor and privilege to recognize our courageous and dedicated airmen who are ever-ready to defend the Philippine airspace from intruders, ensure the protection of our precious freedom, and secure our islands from unwanted elements that will sow chaos in our land,” Marcos said.
Marcos said that enhancing the PAF’s capabilities is one of his administration’s top priorities.
He said as commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it is his duty “to ensure the welfare of our officers and soldiers tasked to protect our skies.”
“A strong PAF guarantees a free, progressive, and secure nation,” Marcos said.
In his homily, Cardinal Advincula called on the two top leaders of the country to emulate the two traits of the Good Shepherd such as “listening leadership and life-giving leadership.”
“As we meet in our offices and conference halls asking questions in our heads, may we be mindful of our people who ask questions on their empty stomachs… May we be leaders who listen to our people, especially the poor and marginalized,” he said.
Cardinal Advincula also asked government leaders to seek good not only for some individuals or particular groups but for the entire society.