It Is Done & I am Free!

16 05 2008

10:30 AM 15 May 2008 @ Jamindan & 7:00 PM @ Iloilo Airport

I woke up at 3:00 AM to prepare and board the only PAL flight to Roxas City from Manila for the day together with the General Officer who will replace me as the Commander of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army and the Party of the Newly-Installed Commanding General of the Philippine Army. The plane left Manila at 5:30 AM and arrived in Roxas City as scheduled at 6:30 AM. After a brief breakfast and change to our Battle Dress Army Uniform, we were on our way to Camp Peralta in Jamindan, Capiz which one hour and 15 minutes ride from Roxas City.

After Arrival Honors for the Commanding General of the Philipine Army was given, we had a brief talk in my office where the Incoming Commander of the 3ID, PA, the Commanding General of the PA, and myself signed the result of the audit & inspection of the financial resources of the command made by the Internal Auditor of the Philippine Army. The result of the inspection showed that I am turning-over an amount of almost 1.7 Million Pesos to the Incoming Commander as part of the unspent financial resources of the Command up to the end of the 2nd Quarter of this year.

The turn-over of command ceremony started at 9:45 AM and it was finished at 10:30 AM. I was awarded the third highest award of the AFP for the accomplishments that my Command had done during my tenure as the Commander for one year and two months. In my farewell speech, I paid tribute and thanks to my commanders & soldiers who successfully dismantled two (2) Guerrilla Fronts and downgraded another two (2) Guerrilla Fronts of the CPP/NPA in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Aklan, and Negros Occidental during my stint as the Commander of the Division and the Command is on the right track and on schedule to finally clear all the remaining six (6) Guerrilla Fronts in Negros & Panay Islands before the mid-part of 2010. Noteworthy among the accomplishments is the cementing of a road that connects the Camp to the Provincial Road from Jamindan which was neglected for the past 21 years and the return of about 8 Million Pesos to the Finance Center of the Philippines which represents pay and allowances of “ghosts” or unfilled CAFGU quotas in my Area of Responsibility.

Before the ceremony/program ended the CG, PA gave me a memento of a replica & mini-statue of  a “Bald Lapu-lapu”, the symbol of a “warrior” in the Visayas (which looks like me!) and a Command Plaque. My Assistant Division Commander gave me a painting of our Grotto in the Camp with Mother Mary overlooking the whole camp. The Division Sargeant Major gave me a one-foot statue of “Bald Runner”. The Officers, Enlisted Men, and Civilian Employees gave me a framed blown-up picture of “Bald Runner” while running the Runnex@25 at the UP Campus with their signatures written on the borders of the picture. But what made me laughed and elated was a painting/charcoal caricature of myself while I was a cadet at the PMA with my head full of hairs and a Chuck Taylor/ELPO Rubber shoes and Bald Runner with my sunglasses, Nike Pro Running Kit & ASICS Running Shoes, running side by side! To all the members of “Team Spearhead Division”. thank you very much for all the gifts. I will treasure all these gifts!

Finally, before I left the Camp, I was given a full military departure honors with a 13-Gun Salute (for a Major General) and after the ceremony, I was given a mounted Gun/Cannon Shell that was fired first. After posing my last group picture with all the Officers and Men of the 3rd Infantry Division, I was already on my way to Iloilo City to board the last PAL flight back to Manila.

After 33 years and 3 months of military service with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and 4 years at the Philippine Military Academy, a total of 37 years & 3 months, I am going back to civilian life once again!

At last, I am done with my military service and I am already free!


Tomorrow, I will run 20 kilometers early in the morning to celebrate my 56th Birthday!

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