By Francis Wakefield
Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said that the defense department takes pride in the success of Hidilyn Diaz for winning a Gold Medal for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games.
Lorenzana made the remark after he presided over the hero’s welcome for Diaz at the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Gymnasium, Camp Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on Wednesday.
In his speech, Lorenzana emphasized the importance of discipline and focus in life. He described Diaz as an ordinary girl doing extraordinary things.
The defense secretary also recognized the power of Filipino women medalists during the 18th Asian Games.
Lorenzana, together with PAF Commanding General Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard R. Kintanar Jr, awarded an Outstanding Achievement Medal and a Plaque of Recognition to Diaz, who was also promoted to the rank of Sergeant in recognition of her success in the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta-Palembang, Indonesia.
The DND, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PAF took cognizance of Diaz’s determination and drive to bring home the glory for the Filipino people.
Lorenzana said he wishes for more everyday heroes like Diaz that children can emulate.
In an earlier statement, the AFP said it takes enormous pride for Diaz’s winning the gold medal for the Philippines in the women’s 53-kilograms event in the 2018 Asian Games weightlifting competition.
Diaz, it was recalled, was recruited into the PAF through the military arm’s Direct Enlistment Program in 2013. She was initially assigned to the Air Force Special Service Group. She was also given an Air Force Specialty Code skill in recreation in weightlifting.
In 2014, she was given a promotion from the rank of Airwoman to Airwoman Second Class. Diaz was also a recipient of a Military Merit Medal for organizing PAF events and a Presidential Citation Unit Badge.
When Diaz was training for her stint at the 2016 Summer Olympics, she was assigned to PAF Personnel Management Center on a temporary basis. For her achievement at the Olympics, she was given a promotion by the PAF.
The extent of the promotion was not initially disclosed but it was later reported that Diaz was promoted to the rank of Airwoman First Class. (Francis T. Wakefield)