THE military on Saturday simultaneously culminated its month-long mourning for the late President Benigno Aquino III, whom soldiers credited for their march toward modernization.
The ceremony marking the end of the 30-day mourning for the former Commander in Chief was participated in by all units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines across the country.
Aquino, under whose term the military crafted its three-phase modernization—with the first phase implemented in the middle of his term—died of renal failure on June 24 at the age of 61.
In Mindanao, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman Lt. Col. Alaric Avelino delos Santos said that officers, enlisted personnel, and civilian members of the command took part in the ceremony at around 4:30 p.m.
A three-volley salute was simultaneously carried out to honor Aquino, who was popularly known as “Noynoy.”
“The men and women of the AFP offer the Former President and Commander-in-Chief our final snappiest salute,” Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said in a message read for him by Westmincom’s deputy commander for operations Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas.
According to delos Santos, the removal of mourning band was also performed during the ceremony.
Mourning band is a black band worn on the sleeve of the military uniform as a sign of respect and mourning for a fallen ex-Commander in Chief
“As the mandated defenders of the state and the Filipino people, it shall be our distinct honor and privilege to carry on with the Former Commander-in-Chief’s aspiration of a truly peaceful and progressive Philippines,” Sobejana said.
“President Benigno Aquino III’s initiatives and advocacies to professionalize and modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines shall not be forgotten,” he added.
The ceremony ended with the lowering of the national flag.