Actor Matteo Guidicelli joins ‘combat’ vs ‘terrorists’
FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Actor Matteo Guidicelli surprised cadets and tourists at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) when he took part in a simulated rescue of hostages and a mock assault on “terrorists” at the start of a two-day Army roadshow here on Monday.
With the theme song of the television and movie series “Mission Impossible” blasting from the speakers, Army troopers shot at the “terrorists” while armored vehicles fired explosives at Borromeo Field.
The exhibition targeted “General Kalaban,” who flashed a threatening video on a giant screen where he described himself as “necessary,” even if the larger public condemns his “Kalabanian State” as a terrorist movement.
The Army’s rescue and medical teams rushed forward to retrieve the “dead,” pull out the “hostages,” and treat the “injured.”
Among the rescuers were female soldiers who wore white hijabs and a medic who turned out to be Guidicelli, when he took off his balaclava.
PMA cadets applauded from the grandstand when more than 50 Army performers threw aside the Kalabanian flag and installed the Philippine flag in a pose similar to the World War II photograph of the Battle in Iwo Jima.
The combat demonstration was part of the Army Caravan, which was brought here by Army chief, Lt. Gen. Macairog Alberto.
The two-day event showcased the Army’s weaponry and skills upgrade to cadets of the PMA Mabalasik Class of 2019 who will graduate on May 26. Mabalasik stands for Mandirigma ng Bayan, Iaalay ang Sarili, Lakas at Tapang, Para sa Kapayapaan.
Graduating cadets, as well as younger members of the cadet corps, were asked to voluntarily join the Army, which PMA superintendent, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista, described as the “most grounded” of all military branches of service.
“In the Army, you get to meet people in barangays every day, not just through social media. You get to learn about the different people in the country and you get the satisfaction when you help them out. If you want to serve people, the best branch of service is the Army,” Alberto told the cadets.
A former head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Alberto said the military “needs boots on the ground.”
Guidicelli said he joined the military because he wanted “to serve the country in a different way.”
Alberto said the caravan was also an information drive about the Army to “keep the people informed,” as well as to unite the public behind the pursuit for peace. —VINCENT CABREZA AND EV ESPIRITU
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