The year 2020 was decidedly an “arduous” year, mainly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the same crisis is said to have significantly strengthened the Filipino spirit.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana shares this view. He said “2020 has been an arduous year for all of us, but together, we survived it because our care and compassion prevailed amidst the chaos around us, and instead of breaking us, the Covid-19 pandemic strengthened us as a nation.”
Lorenzana’s quoted statement is part of his New Year’s message where he also urged the public to be thankful for the opportunities that opened up and help in improving the lives of many Filipinos.
The Defense chief was obviously referring to the transport system, health system, telecommunications system, online marketing, telemedicine, online learning, and other innovations that provided growth despite the pandemic.
He urged everyone to welcome 2021 with full of hope that will make it a better year for everyone. He likewise thanked all soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines, who constantly stood guard to protect the nation during the Yuletide Season.
“From the One Defense Team: Manigong bagong taon sa ating lahat! Mabuhay ang Sambayanang Filipino!” he said.
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay. For his part, wished every Filipino a peaceful and prosperous New Year. He also extended his warmest greetings to all military and civilian human resources of the AFP for ably performing their tasks despite the difficulties they faced the previous year.
Gapay has also ordered an inquiry into the factual circumstances surrounding the inoculation of some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) with a Covid-19 vaccine which is yet to be approved by the country’s Food and Drug Administration.
AFP spokesperson, Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo, said in a statement, however. that AFP stands by the previous statement of PSG commander, Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante, that President Duterte’s close-in security had themselves inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine to reduce the possibility of being the possible source of the virus that could infect the President.
Arevalo also said they maintain their previous declaration that the AFP Chief-of-Staff “was not part of, or privy to the circumstances involving the procurement of these vaccines, its source, and the administration thereof to PSG troopers.”