President Aquino leads awarding rites honoring soldiers and civilian employees of Armed Forces of the Philippines on its 77th anniversary
President Benigno S. Aquino III led the awarding ceremonies honoring 12 soldiers and civilian employees for their outstanding achievements and heroic acts in the service in celebration of the 77th Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Anniversary at the AFP Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo, in Quezon City on Friday.
Anchored on the theme: “Bayanihan at Kahandaan: Tuwid na Daan Tungo sa Kapayapaan," this year’s AFP Anniversary celebration was highlighted by the awarding of 12 deserving AFP personnel who contributed to the advancement and promotion of the organization.
Also present during the event were former president Fidel V. Ramos, Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, AFP Chief of Staff General Jessie Dellosa and other officials of the AFP's major commands namely, Philippine Army (PA), Philippine Navy (PN) and Philippine Air Force (PAF), Police Deputy Director General Alan Purisima; Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena, Philippine Coast Guard chief, government officials, members of the Armed Forces Attaches, among others.
The Chief Executive awarded 2nd Lieutenant Ferdinand J. Divina, PN, with the Distinguished Conduct Star; Colonel Glorioso V. Miranda, PA, (Distinguished Service Star); 1st Lieutenant Carlo P. Valdez, PAF, (Gold Cross Medal); Corporal Christopher C. Cabrito, PA, (Gold Cross Medal); Brigadier General Alejandro H. Estomo, AFP (Outstanding Achievement Medal); Colonel Emmanuel G. Cacdac, PA (Gawad sa Kaunlaran); CAA Abdurasad H. Asmad, (Kagitingan sa Barangay); Master Sergeant Fermin O. Rocio, (Enlisted Personnel of the Year); Cadet Col. Iceal Averroes E. Estrella, 1CL, Male Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet of the Year; Cadet Col. Jaimie Lou T. Sarmiento, 1CL, Female ROTC Cadet of the Year, Aurora B. Ronquillo, Model Supervisor of the Year and Nelson G. Maligro, Model Civilian Employee of the Year.
Upon his arrival, President Aquino was given full military honors.
Another highight of the celebration was the presentation of the book entitled, "Kwentong Bayanihan," a collection of short stories written by members of the military and civilian sectors to illustrate the finest practices of Bayanihan to the President and the AFP Commander-in-Chief Aquino.
The AFP also presented to the Chief Executive a DVD copy of 20 short films under "Kwentong Bayan," produced and directed by Filipino Pictures, Inc. It is envisioned to effectively show a different perspective on addressing the root causes of insurgency and social issues in the country.
The event was also highlighted by the Inspection of troops, pass-in-review and the motorized contigent featuring some of the AFP's newly-acquired and refurbished equipment.
The motorized contingent was composed of the Special Operations Command mounted on three KM450 vehicles, the 710th Special Operations Wing on one Humvee Combat Vehicle, two KM450 trucks and one Explosive, Ordnance and Disposal Van.
The armored assets of the Philippine Army including two V150 Commando and three Simba Fighting Vehicles; Armored Assets of the Philippine Marine Corps including one Humvee Combat Vehicle, two V300 and one V150 combat vehicles; Army artillery assets including six Tubes Howitzers, newly-acquired field ambulance units and four new tonner trucks were paraded during the event.
The celebration also featured a sky-diving exhibition. PND (js)
President Aquino vows government support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines to strengthen its capabilities
President Benigno S. Aquino III vowed the administration's unwavering support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to strengthen its capabilities in the performance of its mandate of upholding the sovereignty the country and defending its territorial integrity and protecting the Filipino people.
In his speech during the 77th AFP Anniversary at the AFP Grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Friday, the Chief Executive emphasized the importance of modernizing the AFP to enhance its capabilities in defending the country and the Filipino people.
President Aquino graced the AFP anniversary rites which has for its theme “Bayanihan at Kahandaan: Tuwid na Daan Tungo sa Kapayapaan," as guest of honor and speaker.
"Dahil sa inyong mga sakripisyo, makakaasa pa rin kayo sa patuloy na suporta ng pamahalaan at sambayanan....Mantakin po ninyo ---mahigit dalawampu’t walong bilyong piso ang agad nating inilaan para sa AFP Modernization Program sa loob lamang ng isang taon at pitong buwan. Mula sa pagiging kawawang cowboy, itinulak natin ang AFP bilang mas moderno’t mas maaasahang tanggulan," the President said.
The President said the government will continue to effect reforms in the AFP to ensure that its funds will be used only in serving the needs of the people, including the soldiers and civilian employees of the armed forces services.
The administration has already provided much-deserved benefits for the AFP military and civilian personnel.
"Nariyan din ang 21,800 na bahay na itinayo para sa mga pulis at kasundaluhan, at ang karagdagang 31,200 na kabahayan pa na inaasahan nating makumpleto sa Agosto 2013, hindi lang para sa mga pulis at sundalo, kundi pati na sa mga bumbero at kawani ng BJMP," he said.
President Aquino said the Framework Agreement signed by the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last October 15 is a vital step to attain genuine peace.
"Matapos ang makasaysayang kasunduang pangkapayapaan sa Moro Islamic Liberation Front at sa pagtataguyod ng Bangsamoro, inaasahan po nating matutuldukan na rin ang deka-dekadang alitan sa katimugang bahagi ng bansa at magsisimula nang mapitas ng ating mga kapatid na Muslim at Lumad ang pangako ng kanilang lupang tinubuan," he said.
He called on the AFP to step up its efforts in implementing the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan (IPSP) program.
"Batid nating may masasamang elemento pa ring patuloy na pinagbabantaan ang kaligtasan at payapang pamumuhay ng ilang pamayanan sa bansa.....At hindi po tayo makukuntento hangga’t may mga pamilya pa ring naiipit sa mga walang katuturang bakbakan. Kumpiyansa at inaasahan po nating sa pag-iral ng IPSP Bayanihan, napipinto na ang paglaganap ng malawakang kapayapaan sa mga lugar na dati’y pugad ng armadong hidwaan," he stressed.
The Chief Executive expressed high hopes that the AFP will continue to focus on their duties and responsibilities to maintain peace and order in the country.
He also thanked the AFP personnel for their full support in the government’s programs aimed at uplifting and protecting the lives of the people as he cited the AFP’s important role in the government's humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in times of calamities.
"Unti-unti na rin pong bumabangon ang ilang bahagi ng Visayas at Mindanao na sinalanta ng bagyong Pablo. Habang tumatanaw tayo ng malaking utang ng loob sa bawat kawal na nakibalikat sa panahon ng sakuna, huwag sana nating limitahin ang kaya pa nating magawa," the President said.
"Huwag sana tayong makuntento sa kung ano ang kaya nating iambag pagkatapos lamang ng sakuna; sa halip, tumutok tayo sa kung ano ang kaya nating gawin bago pa man ito sumalanta. Ibig sabihin, bago pa man madapa ang ating mga kababayan, dapat ay nakahanda na tayong pigilan ang kanilang pagbagsak at isinagad natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para maiwasan ito.," he added. PND (js)