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AFP marks 76th anniversary sans pomp and pageantry

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) toned down its 76th founding anniversary ceremonies at Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday in light of the recent calamity in Mindanao that has claimed over 1,000 lives.
“Even though our physical bodies want to celebrate the anniversary of the Armed Forces today, our hearts and minds are with our countrymen who were victims of the storm in Mindanao,” Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa, Chief of staff of the AFP, said in his speech.
Dellosa said that the AFP’s rescue personnel who were supposed to join in the parade had already been sent to the 4th Infantry Division in Mindanao to assist in the search and rescue operations.
The AFP’s air and water assets are traveling back and forth from Manila to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, he said.
The AFP cancelled its fly-by demonstration of 31 aircraft including a high-speed fly-by to signal the start of the ceremony.
The traditional “AFP Ball” dinner party where the commander-in-chief can personally meet the many officers of the AFP has also been cancelled.
“The funds that will be saved in this ceremony will go to the victims of the calamity,” Dellosa said.
Dellosa thanked the soldiers who volunteered to donate one day of their meal subsistence allowance, equivalent to about P90, to the victims of the calamity.
“It is true that during the times when we are in the middle of a storm is when we most feel the spirit of ‘Bayanihan’,” Dellosa said.
“With Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa leading the way, he has become an example of our soldiers’ endless generosity and care for our countrymen. With the help of the Armed Forces, they have led the continuous operations for bringing relief to the devastated areas,” President Benigno Aquino said in his speech.
The AFP’s demonstrations included a parade of troops, armored and engineering vehicles, and an actual skydiving performance.
Civilians and others from the private sector who want to help in the relief operations may get in touch with Rear Admiral Jose Miguel Rodriguez at 0926-652-8499, Dellosa said.
1:47 pm | Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


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