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For last time as president, Aquino to lead AFP anniversary rites

/ 07:30 AM December 21, 2015
President Benigno Aquino III Aquino and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III Aquino and the Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CLARK AIR BASE, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III will lead the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 80th anniversary rites here, his last as President and commander-in-chief

It will be the first time that the AFP will hold its anniversary outside of Metro Manila. In recent years, it has celebrated its anniversary at the military’s main headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.

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AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla earlier said that Clark Air Base was the chosen venue to avoid air traffic when the Philippine Air Force will hold its flyby of assets.

In Clark, flights usually take place in the afternoon or evening. The anniversary celebration will be held in the morning.

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A total of 41 air assets including rescue and attack helicopters, C-130 transport planes and brand new fighter jets will participate in the flyby.

READ: AFP to receive 100 ‘excess’ armored vehicles from US

The Army will also showcase 107 of its trucks and vehicles, including some of the recently acquired armored personnel carriers from the United States.

The Navy will not be able to show off its assets in Clark but will present a video of its modernization upgrade.

BACKSTORY: Catapang trumpets gains in peace, security ops at AFP Day

The event will also be some sort of testimonial honors for Aquino, who will witness his last AFP anniversary as President and commander-in-chief.

“Bilang pasasalamat po,at nais po naming ipagmalaki na madami tayong naipon na kagamitan para sa ating Armed Forces at ito po ay kakayahan na hindi natumbasan ng tatlong nakaraang administrasyon na lahat po ay naging lip service pero ngayon po ay talagang natupad. At isa pa po binigyan din po natin ng papugay ‘yung mga civilians at mga organisasyon na talagang directly tumulong sa atin,” Padilla earlier said.

(This is our way of giving thanks and presenting the assets that we have been able to acquire for the Armed Forces and this is something that was not achieved by three previous administrations, whose promises only ended up as lip service. This time it has become a reality. We also want to recognize the civilians and the organizations that have directly helped us.) IDL

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TAGS: AFP, AFP anniversary, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, Clark Air Base, military modernization, Restituto Padilla
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