The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday recognized the role of the late former president Benigno Simeon ‘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. This transformation 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,” said AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana as the military rendered traditional gun salute in various military camps to honor their former commander-in-chief.
The 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.
The military honors are performed 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 is fired.
At around 10 a.m. all troops in all military camps, stations, and bases assembled for the official reading of the notice of death of the former president.
Meanwhile, the national flag is flown at half-mast in all AFP camps.
“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.
Sobejana, speaking on behalf of the whole AFP, acknowledged and hoped to immortalize the late president’s legacy as the 15th President of the Philippines.
“With wisdom and prudence, President Aquino steadfastly steered our country towards economic stability and through the many disasters and challenges that we faced during his term as our leader,” he said.
During his term, Aquino advocated the strengthening of the country’s defense and security capabilities. Republic Act No. 10349 was enacted under his presidency to revitalize the slow-paced AFP modernization program.
With the advent of the Internal Peace and Security Plan- Bayanihan, the former president also encouraged the AFP to adopt an inclusive approach towards security, where every Filipino is a stakeholder in the goal to achieve just and lasting peace.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government 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,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement.
Año said the DILG expresses its deepest condolences to the Aquino family, loved ones, and friends at this time of bereavement.
He added that they are also requesting 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.
On Friday, the remains of the former president were taken to Ateneo’s Church of the Gesu and will be available for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Aquino’s inurnment will be held on Saturday beside the tombs of their parents, former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City.
Aquino, 61, who served as president from 2010 to 2016, succumbed to renal disease secondary to diabetes at the Capitol Medical Center on Thursday morning. PNA.GOV.PH