Rear Admiral Roberto Q Estioko, PhD, MNSA was officially presented as the 19th President of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) in an investiture ceremony attended by DND Secretary Delfin N Lorenzana and Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B Evasco Jr, held on 19 January 2017 at the NDCP Auditorium, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. His designation is by virtue of his appointment paper signed by President Rodrigo R Duterte dated 13 October 2016.
Dr Estioko is former Vice Commander of the Philippine Navy and former Executive Vice President of the NDCP Alumni Association. He is a member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) “Masikap” Class of 1977 and Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) Regular Class 39. He also obtained a Master in Management degree from the Philippine Christian University (PCU) and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Development Education from the Central Luzon State University.
In his investiture address, Dr Estioko expressed gratitude to the former presidents of NDCP, upon whose accomplishments he will pursue his eight key initiatives: (1) an MNSA Curriculum more relevant and responsive to the global realities of security management and governance; (2) putting in place educational rigors based on the standards of the Commission on Higher Education; (3) rationalizing the admission into the MNSA Program; (4) academic integration of all defense educational institutions under the proposed National Defense University; (5) establishment of Council of Fellows or a Policy Advisory Group; (6) more active role in multilateral engagements; (7) propagation of national security consciousness through the promotion of the National Security Policy as a partner document of the Philippine Development Plan; and (8) stronger partnerships with the DND, NSC, and other agencies in the areas of research and policy formulation.
In his speech, Dr Estioko also shared some accomplishments of the College since he assumed office on 13 October 2016. He mentioned that NDCP contributed to a new National Security Policy. The College also conducted a roundtable discussion on conceptualizing the national interests, a colloquium on Federalism, an executive course on critical incident and internal security management, a senior executive course on national security, and a strategic planning workshop for the Philippine Navy. NDCP also participated in the last workshop of the Network of ASEAN Defense and Security Institutions (NADI).
Declaring his views and philosophy on education, Dr Estioko said that “Diversity creates and cultivates an open mind. Our programs will continue to expose students and participants to diverse groups, to diverse perspectives, to diverse cultures.”
In his inspirational remarks, Secretary Evasco congratulated Dr Estioko on his appointment, which takes place against the backdrop of changes in the national and international scenes characterized by “the openness in engaging personalities and groups from a wider sweep of the political spectrum, the commitment to boost the morale and improve the welfare of the uniformed personnel, the initiatives to diversify our foreign relations and find unconventional solutions to festering international geopolitical predicaments…”
Secretary Evasco also encouraged the new NDCP leadership to consider three “imperatives.” First, Secretary Evasco encouraged the NDCP to challenge conventional norms and practices in education, training, and research on defense and security. Second, he invited the College to be a direct participant in policy-formulation at the highest levels. Lastly, the Cabinet Secretary reminded the NDCP of the primacy of working for the general welfare of the Filipino people.