The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday recognized the role of the late former president Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III in its ongoing transformation journey.
“We honor and recognize the support and encouragement he had given us as we began our journey towards genuine transformation in our organization, which paved the way for the professionalization of our troops and the inculcation of critical ethos such as accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights that we hold and value dearly today,” AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said as the military rendered traditional gun salute in various military camps to honor their former commander-in-chief.
Eight-gun salute rites were simultaneously fired in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City; Fort Andres Bonifacio in Taguig City; Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City; Fort Abad in Manila; Fort Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City; and all AFP Unified Command Headquarters in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Military honors throughout the day starting with the eight-gun fire during the reveille time at 5 a.m. followed by gunfire every half-hour beginning 6 a.m. until the retreat time at 5 p.m. after which, another eight-gun salute was fired.
Meanwhile, the national flag is flown at half-mast in all AFP camps and government offices. It will remain so for 10 days as ordered by President Duterte.
“We give our Former President and Commander-in-Chief our snappiest salute and our pledge to continue to perform our mandate. The banner of his legacy will continue to fly on the hallowed grounds of our camps anywhere in the country,” Sobejana said.
Aquino, during his 6-yeqr term, helped promote the strengthening of the country’s defense and security capabilities. Republic Act No. 10349 was enacted under his presidency to pursue the AFP’s gradual modernization program.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), for its part, also joined the nation in grieving over the former president’s demise.
“His passing came as a shock to the Filipino people especially in this time of pandemic where many have left us suddenly and without warning,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
Año also urged the public to offer prayers for the former president’s eternal repose.
“We pay tribute to the former President for his legacy of service to the country and his numerous contributions to the nation. Indeed, his leadership has paved the way for the development of the DILG, LGUs, uniformed services, and the whole government bureaucracy. His legacy lives in our hearts and minds,” Año said.