Col. Lizardo, Members of the Faculty, Members of the Graduating Class, My Friends:
I greet every one of you this morning, and I greet every soldier of the Armed Forces everywhere. The training of our youth is the fulfillment of the requirements of the National Defense Act. We started this fulfillment twelve years ago, not to wage war but to preserve the peace, prosperity and national integrity of our people. Consequently, schools for officers and enlisted men were established all over the Philippines to facilitate instruction so as to make them capable professional soldiers. The training continued until December, 1941, when the war broke out.
The trained reservists were called to the colors and subsequently mustered into the Army to defend this beautiful land. The splendid display of discipline and training displayed by the Filipino soldiers during the war was magnificent evidence that the months of hard training behind them were fruitful, for it is now written down in history that one of the most heroic stands against aggression was fought here in our country.
Consequently, in the summer of 1942, although we were not spiritually defeated, we were physically beaten; hence, the inevitable. But the effect of military training inculcated in every Filipino soldier did not end with that surrender. Months later, the flame of freedom began again to flicker, and for a short time, the entire archipelago, from one end to the other, was lighted with its glow. Its main purpose was to maintain the morale of the people, to keep the enemy off-balance, and to secure information about the enemy while America was preparing for a gigantic push in the Pacific in which the Philippines lay in its path. The Japanese mainland was her ultimate goal.
In the summer of 1945, with the help of those who helped continue the fight, America liberated our country. The liberation was a victory, a decided victory, which clearly proves to you the importance of military training for all those who have attained success in the resistance movement and have had military training. Immediately after liberation, we began to reconstruct our army out of mixed elements. The reconstruction was based on a poor and weak foundation, and so a reorganization was necessary. In the plan for reorganization, it was conceived that the training of our officers and enlisted men must go side by side with the reorganization in order to set up a firm foundation and to revitalize the Armed Forces so that they may be able to perform their duties. This is the first graduating class of the ORC for the last three years since liberation. It is indeed encouraging to see these young men undergo military training in order to make themselves fit for the job and to prepare themselves for high positions which may be assigned to them in the defense of this country. It is also gratifying that in spite of our handicap of lack of funds, accommodations, and facilities, this graduating class is an eloquent testimony of the eagerness and cooperation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to carry out our training program. It is an achievement, and the Republic of the Philippines is surely proud of it.
As a result, I am here not only to express my heartfelt congratulations on successfully completing the prescribed course of training and to share with you the pride and satisfaction that we all feel over your accomplishment, but also to remind you of the tasks and responsibilities that await you as officers of the Armed Forces. Global War No. II is over, but other looms on the horizon. It will be a war between two conflicting ideologies, or a war between democracy and dictatorship. This war may break out anywhere at any time. I hope that Divine Providence will save us from this war. But if war breaks out, we will undoubtedly be involved because of our relations with America, democracy, and many other things we share with America and her allies. And what is more, we have already cast our lot with America.
The plan for the defense of this country does not exclude the defense against aggression coming from within. After winning the war for freedom and democracy, we still have to deal with the fact that our next enemy could come from within if it grows to a certain point and gains momentum among our people.
As you all know, the Philippine Constabulary is charged with the maintenance of peace and order, but if and when worse comes to worst, the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will be thrown into the field to support the Constabulary. When that day comes, you will be fighting against some of our own people who believe in the ideology of communism, that is, that the people belong to the state. You must be resourceful when dealing with people of this class in the field. You must know how to find a solution for every human and material problem that confronts you.
Right here in Central Luzon, there are people who believe in the ideology that the people belong to the state, contrary to our Christian and democratic concept that the state belongs to the people. These people are working day and night to uproot the very foundation of our democratic government and way of life and to establish here a communistic government.
You must be tactful in dealing with our enemies from within. You must treat them with firmness tempered with justice. You must never hesitate to use all the available force at your command, if need be, against those who are responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives and property of their own people and who are conspiring to destroy more.
Loyalty must be eliminated from all ranks. Loyalty exists only when there are two parties. It doesn’t begin from the private to the corporal or from the enlisted man to the officer. It begins with both. It starts from both and grows in both at the same time with the same intensity. So, if an officer expects loyalty from a subordinate, that officer must be as loyal to the subordinate as he is to him.
As I said moments ago, our array has been reformed out of mixed elements. Those elements have been in the field ever since the start of the last war without interruption due to peace and order conditions now existing. Consequently, discipline is below par. In enforcing discipline on officers and enlisted men, you must be fair and just. Then there are other classes of people who are disillusioned. Too many of us are drifting without purpose, and too many of us are losing faith after having suffered during the Japanese occupation, and certainly, our country is none too healthy at present. Consequently, the moral fiber of our people has gone low, too low beyond our expectations. These are the factors that cause discontent and disturbances of peace and order, and these are the problems that confront the Republic of the Philippines these days.
To remedy these problems, there should be sufficient capital invested to develop our natural resources and to give work to these people. There should be enough food production to lower the high cost of living, and there should be a strong army to keep this Republic together.
The present Administration is doing its best to solve these problems, and if the program of the Administration is thoroughly followed, the solution to these problems will be a success.
Gentlemen of the graduating class, I do not know what the future has in store for you, but I do know that whatever your fate may be, it will be the glory of being the first graduates of the MPC and of having chosen the career of a soldier, the noblest of all careers.
In memory of that great Filipino leader and statesman, our Commander-in-Chief, President Manuel L. Roxas, who died of coronary thrombosis at Clerk Field on the night of April 15th, I would like to invite each and every one of you to stand and pause for a moment to honor his memory.