PHILIPPINE Presidenton Wednesday commended members of the Philippine Marines who stayed for five months at the marooned naval vessel BRP Sierra Madre to guard the Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) against foreign intrusion.
During the 72nd Day of Valor celebration rites at Mt. Samat in Pilar, Bataan, Province, Aquino said that alongside honoring war veterans, it was only a fitting day to also honor others who have served the country just the same.
"An example of this is the sacrifice offered by nine courageous Marines headed by 1st Lieutenant Mike Pelotera, who was last assigned to Ayungin Shoal," the Aquino said in his speech.
The President noted that the sacrifices they have made were also worthy to be honored.
"Just think of the extra-ordinary sacrifices shown by his group: For almost five months their world revolved only on the high seas," the President said.
He further said that they had to withstand having no communications with their families
"Day and night, on board the BRP Sierra Madre, their only focus was to watch our territory," the President said.
"That’s why, along with our veterans, the Filipino nation also salutes them," he added.
The President then cited how the government has allotted over 38 projects from July 2010 to March 2014 for the modernization and capability upgrade of the Philippine Navy which includes providing them with modernized firearms.