Gun salutes ring out in military camps for Noynoy Aquino
MANILA, Philippines—Coordinated gun salutes simultaneously rang in several Philippine military camps on Friday (June 25) to honor former president Benigno Aquino III, who died on Thursday (June 24) at the age of 61.
Aquino is best remembered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for his efforts to modernize a long-neglected and poorly-funded military.
“He recognized the importance of equipping our military to better respond to the evolving domestic and regional security challenges,” AFP chief Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement he read out to troops.
“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,” he said.
Republic Act No. 10349, or Revised AFP Modernization Act, was enacted during the time of Aquino, who served as the 15th President of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. This paved the way for the AFP to take initial steps in building a modest capability after these had been set aside for so many years.
“We honor and recognize the support and encouragement he had given us as we began our journey towards genuine transformation in our organization,” Sobejana said.
Aquino also encouraged the AFP to adopt an inclusive approach toward achieving peace through the Internal Peace and Security Plan—Bayanihan, Sobejana said.
The eight-gun salute was simultaneously carried out at Camp Aguinaldo in 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 unified command camps across the country.
At 10 a.m., all military units gathered for the reading of the official notice on the death of their former commander-in-chief.
The Philippine national flag is displayed at half-staff at all military camps to mourn the death of Aquino.
He will be given all military tributes befitting a former president until his funeral.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared a 10-day period of national mourning for Aquino—from June 24 to July 3.
Flags will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on all government buildings and installations here and abroad.
Aquino will be buried at the Manila Memorial Park on Saturday beside the graves of his parents—former senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and former president Corazon C. Aquino.