MANILA – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said that while 2020 has been an “arduous year” due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the pandemic has only further strengthened the Filipino spirit as the government continues to work to improve the lives of many.
“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. Instead of breaking us, the Covid-19 pandemic strengthened us as a nation,” he said in his New Year’s message.
Lorenzana also urged the public to be thankful for the opportunities that opened up and help in improving the lives of many Filipinos.
He was referring to the transport system, health system, telecommunications system, online marketing, telemedicine, online learning, and other innovations that provided growth despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lorenzana said that everyone should welcome 2021 full of hope on the premise that this will be a better year for everyone.
He also 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!” Lorenzana said.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay wished every Filipino a peaceful and prosperous New Year even as he extended his warmest greetings to all military and civilian human resources of the AFP for ably performing their tasks despite the difficulties they faced for the past year.
“We were confronted with great challenges this year due to the global health crisis but the AFP takes pride in all of its members for the tremendous fulfillment of our mandates across all mission areas as well as in non-traditional operations,” he said.
Through the collective efforts of the AFP, other government agencies and stakeholders, Gapay said significant milestones were gained in further securing the best interest of the Filipino people.
“While the past year has brought many obstacles, it was however marked by the distinguished service, dedication, and perseverance of our uniformed personnel as we fulfill our sworn duties to our country. In spite of all the hardships that tested our strength and resolve, we as Filipinos endured and emerged as one stronger nation,” Gapay said. (PNA)