From the Manila Bulletin (Nov 25): AFP welcomes 140 new officers
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday has welcomed 140 new officers who graduated from their respective Officers Candidate Courses (OCC).
Leading the graduates were three female officers who topped this year’s OCC offered by the Army, Navy, and Air Force Officers Candidate Schools.
Receiving the Presidential Saber from are now 2nd Lt. (2Lt.) Mary Jean B. Cabillete, Philippine Army (PA); now 2Lt. Kristyl May A. Beatingo, Philippine Air Force (PAF); and now Ensign (Ens.) Vanessa Katrina J. Tulang, Philippine Navy (PN).
It was the first time that the President attended the joint graduation ceremony of the OCC. He was assisted AFP Chief of Staff General Emmanuel T. Bautista and Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin in distributing diplomas and presenting awards.
Receiving the Presidential Saber are now 2Lt. Mary Jean B. Cabillete, Philippine Army (PA); now 2Lt. Kristyl May A. Beatingo, Philippine Air Force (PAF); and now Ensign Vanessa Katrina J. Tulang, Philippine Navy (PN).
The Secretary of National Defense Saber was awarded to now 2Lt. Shiela Mae T. Enderez, PA; now 2Lt. John Red A. Honrales, PAF; and now Ens.Tiffany Ann P. Palmares, PN.
The Chief of Staff Saber was awarded to now 2Lt. Mike Vergel L. Conception, PA; now 2Lt. Janna B. Ontong, PAF; and now Ens. Eunice Fe M. Sabado, PN.
After the graduation ceremony held at the AFP Theater in Camp Gen. Emilio E. Aguinaldo, the 55 graduates from the Army, 40 from the Navy, and 45 from the Air Force took their oath as regular military officers before the AFP Chief of Staff.
In his message, Bautista told the graduates: “The AFP that you are joining today is in the midst of a transformation. Now, you all have the responsibility of shaping and leading this transformation, in the spirit of the vision and renewed call to reform inspired by our President.”
“Take pride in the uniform that you wear, and in the patriotic duty that you will perform as protector of the people and of the State, in the attainment of our vision of being a world-class armed forces, source of national pride; and in our commitment to winning just and lasting peace for our nation,” he added.
AFP also said in jest that women are now more perseverant in their studies.
AFP public affairs office (PAO) chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the AFP Officer Candidate School in 1988 and later evolved into Army, Air Force and Navy officer candidate schools.
He added that OCC graduations in the past are usually attended by defense secretaries.
“Now, the President recognize their importance. These are officers who also need his guidance as the commander-in-chief,” he said.
According to the AFP PAO chief, board members of the OCS Alumni Association requested the President to attend graduation of the products of the schools. “And he did (attend),” said Zagala of the President.
Zagala, who is also a product of the AFP Candidate Officer School class 1994, acknowledged that the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) remains to be the premier source of military officers.