Tanay, Rizal — Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong Go” today congratulated the Candidate Soldier Class 532-2018 and lauded them for their support for the Duterte administration.

In his speech at the closing ceremony held at Camp General Mateo Capinpin, Go said the batch can rest assured of support from the government.

“Sinisigurado ng kasalukuyang administrasyon na pinamumunuan ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang inyong kapakanan. Bilang inyong Kuya Bong, masasabi kong mas mapapangalagaan kayo sa pamamagitan ng pagtaas ng inyong sweldo at pag-momodernisa ng Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.

(The current administration under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ensures your welfare. As your Big Brother Bong, I am telling you that we will take care of you by increasing your salaries and modernizing the Armed Forces of the Philippines [AFP].)

The 240 candidate soldiers — 234 males and six females — are aspiring to be members of the Philippine Army. They finished 16 weeks of physical, mental, and emotional training.

After their graduation, the candidate soldiers will be deployed to Mindanao, Region IV-A (CALABARZON), or Region IV-B (MIMAROPA).

In a media interview, Go said the aspiring soldiers will be eligible for the increased base pay that the Duterte administration had set for the AFP.

“Ang tinutukoy ko pong increase ay ang base pay nila. It used to be around, P14,000 something, ngayon P29,000 na. ‘Yung entry position po nila ay dinoble effective po January of 2018,” he said.

(The increase I was referring to is in their base pay. It used to be around, P14,000, but now it is P29,000. Their entry position salary has been doubled effective January of 2018.)

Go also noted that the modernization for the military is ongoing.

“Nasa third horizon na tayo ng modernization at tinitingnan ng ating SND iyong mga prioridad like itong mga dual purpose na mga equipment para sa external defense ng ating Armed Forces, ng Air Force, ng Navy and Army,” he said.

(We are already in the third horizon of the modernization and the SND [Secretary of National Defense] is currently looking into the priorities, like the dual purpose equipment for the external defense of the Armed Forces, Air Force, Navy, and Army.)

He also said one of President Duterte’s agenda in his official visit to Israel is to look for military equipment that could be purchased for the AFP.

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