Day of Valor: AFP urges Filipinos to draw strength from WWII heroes’ gallantry

Robie de Guzman   •   April 9, 2021   •   369

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) called on Filipinos to draw strength from the gallantry of World War II veterans amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the country marks the Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan).

“In this difficult time when our hope is being challenged by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we as a nation shall draw strength from our veterans who fought valiantly to defend our country,” AFP chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said in a statement.

Sobejana said the heroism of soldiers who fought in World War II “showed the exceptional determination of Filipinos to stand against overwhelming odds.”

The sacrifices and bravery of these soldiers bestowed “our generation the freedom, peace, and the democracy we now enjoy,” he added.

“These deeds of heroism and ideals continue to live in the hearts and minds of all our brave Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines who perform their sworn duty to uphold our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Sobejana said.

The AFP chief also paid tribute to all frontliners who continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we remember the bravery and sacrifices of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, we also recognize our modern-day heroes who are working tirelessly to protect our nation from and mitigate the effects of the global pandemic,” he said.

“We salute all the frontline personnel who continue to fight the fatal virus in the hopes of bringing back normalcy in the country,” he added.

“We will continue to work hand in hand, determined to overcome any kind of crisis, triumphantly, in the name of our undying love for our country,” he further stated.

DPWH, DND inaugurate hospital facility, barracks at Camp Aguinaldo

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) with the Department of National Defense (DND) on Thursday (June 17) inaugurated the new military facilities at Camp Aguinaldo.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar with DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the inauguration and handover ceremony of a four-storey male and female enlisted personnel barracks building and two-storey hospital facility at Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital.

The P63.7 million barracks facility will provide enlisted military personnel a safe and secure accommodation or billeting place for troops essential to mission accomplishment. Meanwhile, the hospital facility has 25 beds for emergency services and inpatient care as well as pharmacy, in-house laboratory, and imaging.

The hospital will also be used as the primary health care facility of Camp Aguinaldo for officers, enlisted personnel, civilian human resource.

Secretary Villar said that being in the frontline in protecting the country, the two departments want nothing but the best for the armed forces. AAC

AFP, UN sign strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the United Nations (UN) have signed a strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict.

In a statement on Thursday (June 10), AFP Chief  Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the AFP shall ensure to maintain professionalism and discipline in conducting daily operations. He also said the AFP will aim to strengthen the protection of children in armed conflict and prevent grave child rights violations.

“We shall guarantee that all our personnel are properly educated and trained, to raise their awareness, and for a deeper sense of respect and regard to the promotion and protection of Human Rights in particular, to children’s rights, and adherence to International Humanitarian Law,” he said.

Under the “Strategic Plan to Prevent and Respond to Grave Child Rights Violations in Situations of Armed Conflict”, the AFP should fully comply with its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The Strategic Plan was signed by Sobejana along with UN resident coordinator and co-chair of UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UN-CTFMR) Gustavo Gonzales, and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov on Wednesday (June 9). AAC

AFP, PNP to file criminal charges vs NPA units in Masbate mine blast

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will file criminal charges against members of the New People’s Army (NPA) involved in the Masbate mine blast.

This was after the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) took “full responsibility for the tragedy”.

In a statement, AFP Spokesperson MGen. Edgardo Arevalo reiterated that the use of anti-personnel landmines — which is prohibited in the Philippines under the Mine Ban Treaty — is a war crime.

“We will continue to work vigorously with the PNP in the filing of criminal cases against the murderers and the violators of Republic Act 9851 for the CTG’s leadership who directed the wanton killing of hapless non-combatant civilians using land mines,” he said.

The NPA has planted an improvised explosive device in Brgy. Anas, Masbate City last Sunday (June 6) which killed football player Kieth Absalon, his cousin Nolven Absalon, and injured others.

CPP information officer Marco Valbuena, in a statement said the CPP-NPA expresses their deep remorse over the untimely and unnecessary deaths.

“The entire CPP and NPA take full responsibility for the tragedy. There is no justification for the aggravation this has caused the Absalon family,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Makabayan Bloc condemned the said incident and has called it a violation of international and humanitarian law.

“We condemn the military action by a unit of the NPA in Masbate City that caused their death and injuries to others for violating international humanitarian law. Our commitment to human rights binds us to condemn any and all acts that harm or kill unarmed civilians, non-combatants, and protected persons in situations of armed conflict,” it said. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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