President Aquino leads awarding rites honoring soldiers and civilian employees of Armed Forces of the Philippines on its 77th anniversary
MANILA, Dec 21 (Mabuhay) — 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 Voltare 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; Cadel 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. (MNS)