PRRD graces 122nd Army Day Celebration

Published March 22, 2019, 4:08 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Francis Wakefield 

President Rodrigo R. Duterte graced the celebration of the Philippine Army’s 122nd Founding Anniversary in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, on Thursday, March 21, 2019.



President Duterte who was Guest of Honor and Speaker of the Anniversary Program at the Ricarte Hall, Philippine Army Officers Clubhouse, was accompanied by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., during the program.

Duterte first had a tour of the Army’s Mobile Treatment Facilities (MTF) followed by the Capability Demonstration and Defense Exhibit which granted the Commander-in-Chief a look into the Army’s current capabilities and modernization plan.

The MTF includes the Multi-Purpose Mobile Treatment Facility (MPMTF) and the Forward Treatment Facility (FTF). The MPMTF provides a rapid deployable and operational military facility for the mobile battalions when conducting its military operations. It can be transformed into an office, supply room, barracks, and conference room if the need arises.

The FTF is conceptualized in order to provide surgery for ground troops during military operations. It can also provide advance trauma care during disaster relief, and humanitarian missions. Just like the MPMTF, the FTF is also designed for rapid deployment to areas where there are minimal resources and under time constraint.

Also, as part of the anniversary program, deserving personnel who displayed conspicuous courage and gallantry in battle, as well as the best performing civilian personnel, CAFGU Active Auxilliary, and Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets were given due recognition.

The Distinguished Conduct Star (DCS), the second highest military award in the Armed Forces, was awarded to Sgt. Arnel S. Alberto, Cpl. Roel P. Delos Reyes, and Pvt. Jerry N. Wassig for their conspicuous acts of courage and gallantry in the face of armed and fierce enemies as they fought against Maute terrorists in separate encounters.

The Gold Cross Medal (GCM), the fourth highest military award, was awarded to 1Lt. Francis Hernaez, 1Lt. William S. Hiponia, 1Lt. Antonio M. Cortes Jr., and SSg. Juljiri M. Abdurajik for their gallantry in action as they fought against Communist-NPA-Terrorists in Compostella Valley, Camarines Sur, Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, respectively.

Other awardees are SSg. Ramil G. Binoya (Enlisted Personnel of the Year 2018), CAA Andrito C. Libradilla (CAFGU Active Auxillary of the year 2018), Ms. Rosemarie O. Vilbar (Model Supervisor of the Year), Ms. Modest Joydalyn M. Reyes (Employee of the Year), Lt. Col. Suharto T. Mangudadatu (PA Reservist Officer of the Year), Pfc. Sherwin Cesar Adame PA (Res) (PA Reservist Enlisted Personnel of the Year), Cdt./Lt. Col. Lester Vic C. Delima 1CL (PA Male Advance ROTC Cadet of the year) and Cdt./1Lt. Col. Jovelyn B. Sambo 2CL (PA Female Advance ROTC Cadet of the year.)

In its 122 years, the Army has been instrumental in its fight for independence first through the Revolutionary Army in 1892 against Spanish colonizers and then as the Commonwealth Army in World War II from 1938 to 1945. The Army also offered military aid in South Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s and helped in rebuilding war-torn Vietnam in 1966. In recent years, it successfully defended the state’s territorial integrity and sovereignty against terrorists during the Zamboanga Siege in 2013 and in Marawi in 2017.

Prior to the anniversary program, President Duterte also led the turn-over, unveiling, and blessing of the Marawi Heroes Memorial Monument (Pylon) at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

The pylon honors the 160 soldiers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and eight personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) who were killed in action while liberating Marawi City from the hands of Daesh-inspired Maute terrorists.