With the nation starting its observance of Philippine Veterans Week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) offered its most snappy salute to the country's senior defenders on Sunday.
This took place during the “Review in Honor of the Veterans” held at at the Hunters-ROTC Guerrilla Field Headquarters, Philippine Army Grandstand in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
A battalion-sized contingent from the AFP performed the review wherein the veterans paraded and were accorded honors at par with high-ranking military officers and visiting dignitaries who are entitled to such honor.
The review had four elements: the formation of troops, presentation and honors, ceremonial inspection (passing around the troops), and march in review where the veterans-leaders stood in front of the stage to acknowledge the parading troops.
Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr., AFP chief-of-staff as military host, led the review.
He said that this is the military's way of paying tribute to their forebears and the country’s senior defenders –- the Filipino war veterans who brought to the fore the Filipino’s peculiar brand of heroism and love for country.
Catapang said the review is a time-honored annual tradition of the AFP whereby men and women in the uniformed service show their respect to veterans for their unparalleled services, selfless sacrifices, numerous accomplishments and the distinct values which shaped the Armed Forces into what it has now become -- a more capable, more professional and more reliable Armed Forces serving the Filipino people.
Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil of the 2nd District of Pangasinan and the Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs was the special guest and keynote speaker in the event.
He is a nephew of a World War II veteran, his namesake, who was missing-in-action in
Bataan during World
Bataoil was introduced by retired Major Gen. Raul Z. Caballes, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office deputy administrator, who is also a son of another World War II veteran, the late Col. Mauro S. Caballes, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1945 who fought under the Marking’s Fil-American irregular troops.
Bataoil read the privilege speech originally made by Rep. Herminia B. Roman, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, which narrated the continuing appeal to the legislative body for the overdue increase in benefits and services to veterans and their beneficiaries.
Senior veterans were awarded with plaques and medals in recognition of their wartime services and honorable performance of duties during World War II.
The living awardees are Col. Francisco T. San Miguel, Sgt. Jose Felix F. Caparas, Sgt. Manuel C. Carpio, Col. Francisco S. Tamondong, Pfc. Pilar Hipolito De Ocampo, Maj. Jesse M. Baltazar, Pvt. Manuel T. Cannu, Pfc. Valentin R. Ege, TSgt. Silvestre D. Sarmiento, and Col./Atty. Catalino D. Ibañez.
Likewise, the posthumous awardees were: Pvt. Francisco S. Cordoba Sr. (the award was received by his grandson, Atty. Gamaliel A. Cordoba); Lt.Cmdr. Vicente A. Perez (award received by his wife, Lucila Santiago-Perez); Sgt. Domingo G. Padiernos (received by his sons Col. Justino Padiernos and Gen. Romeo Padiernos); MSgt. Jesus V. Delos Santos (received by his son, LtGen. Jaime Delos Santos); Lt. Col. Saturnino R. Silva Sr. (received by his daughter, Marie Vallejo); Major Gen. Calixto M. Duque (received by his daughter, Suzanne Duque); and 3Lt Leopoldo G. Bataoil (received by his nephew, Rep. Leopoldo N. Bataoil).