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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
MANILA

AFP renders 21-gun salute to honor Aquino

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) rendered traditional gun salute in military camps across the country Friday, June 25, 2021, to honor the late former President and Commander-in-Chief Benigno “Noynoy” S.C. Aquino III.

At 5 a.m. the military conducted a traditional reveille or the firing of eight consecutive gunshots, representing the eight provinces that participated in the revolution in 1896.

The AFP gathered all its personnel led by AFP Chief of Staff Cirilito Sobejana at 10 a.m. in the national headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City for the reading of official notice on the death of Aquino.

It also marked the beginning of the 21-gun salute for Aquino. One round of cannon was fired every 30 minutes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 25 in all military camps nationwide.

In his speech, Sobejana expressed gratitude to Aquino for advocating for the strengthening of the country’s defense and security capabilities to support national development and defend the Philippines against all threats.

As the AFP Commander in Chief from 2010 to 2016, Aquino recognized the importance of equipping the military to better respond to the evolving domestic and regional security challenges.

“Alongside this, 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 Sobejana.

“To this, we give our former President and Commander in Chief our snappiest salute and our pledge to continue to perform our mandate. The banner of your legacy will continue to fly on the hallowed grounds of our camps anywhere in the country,” he added.

AFP spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said the military will also render traditional military honors during Aquino’s inurnment on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

He said a 21-gun-salute will be conducted while Aquino’s urn will be transported to the Manila Memorial Park where he will be laid to rest beside his parents, the late former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and the late former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

Military personnel will be deployed along the route.

Other military camps will also render a 21-gun salute in honor of the late President after the inurnment.

Here is the full AFP statement:

Our country mourns the loss of former President Benigno Aquino III.

As the 15th President of the country, President Aquino bore a cross, so few are willing and capable of, as it entailed the biggest sacrifice Filipinos could ever dream to give for their country. Through him and in him, we saw our collective strength and resolve to do and achieve what is best for our country, a responsibility that is not without great cost to a person's mind, body, and spirit.

And yet, 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.

We acknowledge and hope to immortalize today in this statement, his legacy. The AFP will never forget how President Aquino advocated the strengthening of our defense and security capabilities to support national development and defend our country against all threats.

During his term, Republic Act No. 10349 was enacted to revitalize our slow-paced AFP modernization program. As Commander-in-Chief, he recognized the importance of equipping our military to better respond to the evolving domestic and regional security challenges.

With the advent of the Internal Peace and Security Plan-Bayanihan, he encouraged us to adopt an inclusive approach towards security, where every Filipino is a stakeholder in the quest to achieve just and lasting peace. It opened up space for people's participation in making our country and our future safer and more peaceful.

Alongside this, 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.

To this, we give our former President and Commander in Chief our snappiest salute and our pledge to continue to perform our mandate. The banner of your legacy will continue to fly on the hallowed grounds of our camps anywhere in the country.

To the family, friends, and loved ones of President Aquino, please accept our sincerest condolences.

Kami sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas ay taos-pusong nakikiramay.

(SunStar Philippines)


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