Since 2016, he’s been the Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), ensuring that the Filipinos are secured from terrorists, communist rebels, and other enemies of the State while protecting the country’s territory from invaders. He’s also the Chairperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), helping the public in times of disasters and calamities.

Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (Photo courtesy of DND)

And during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, he was appointed as the Chairman of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 and Co-Chairman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF-MEID) to lead the creation of a National Action Plan (NAP) against the dreaded disease that has swept the world.

This begs the question: “Don’t you ever get tired, Mr. Secretary?”

Perhaps this was the same thing that many concerned people wanted to ask Lorenzana when he fainted during the Independence Day flag-raising ceremony at the Luneta Park in Manila last June 12.

It turned out that Lorenzana had just arrived from Singapore around 1 a.m. that day, fresh from a defense-related meeting with his counterparts from other countries, and took a brief rest before he attended the flag-raising ceremony.

But like a retired Philippine Army (PA) general that he is, Lorenzana bounced back from that scary fall, and continued to perform his duties even if he is set to vacate his office on June 30.

“A true soldier always gets up quickly after a fall. I’m fine now,” Lorenzana said a day after his collapse.

On June 14, Lorenzana even attended the inauguration of the new NDRRMC administration building at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

True enough, the outgoing defense chief continues to be a hard-worker even at 73 years old. He spent 31 years in the military before retiring in 2004, and was appointed by President Duterte 12 years later to lead one of the most delicate posts in the government.

“After June 30, I will take a rest for a few months. I will recover and relax. I will detoxify,” Lorenzana said in an interview on May 29.

The incoming administration has yet to name the replacement of Lorenzana at the DND but whoever that person is, s/he will surely have big shoes to fill.

Source: Manila Bulletin (