Friday, August 7, 2009

4 honor guards endure slow cortege

The Philippine STAR, Page 1

with stories from Jaime Laude, Cecille Suerte Felipe

For more than eight hours, they stood in snappy military
fashion, undaunted by rain and steadfast in form despite
the hunger everybody else experienced during the long
procession that brought the late former President Corazon
Aquino to her final resting place at Manila Memorial Park
in Paranaque City yesterday.

Army Pfc. Antonio Cadiente, Airman Second Class
Gener Laguindan, Navy Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rodriguez
and Police Officer 1 Danilo Maalab, who served as honor
guards for Mrs. Aquino's remains, displayed exceptional
discipline in the performance of their extraordinary task.

The ride from the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros was
agonizingly slow due to tens of thousands who wanted to pay
their last respects to the leader they fondly call "Tita Cory,"
but the four men in uniform stood in finest tradition, adding
solemnity and honor to the ceremony.

Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) spokesman told The STAR that the organization
is glad to have been given the chance to honor their
former Commander-in-Chief.

"And we are happy because
our soldiers and our police counterpart displayed our finest
tradition of discipline and professionalism."

Brawner said that the Army and Air Force soldiers came
from thei r mother unit' s escort battalions, while the Navy enlisted
man came from the office of reservist affairs. He said that after the exceptional
display of dedication to duty by these soldiers, the AFP
might recommend that they be given awards equivalent to
their recent task. "They were handpicked from the among the best our
honor guards. They can with stand hours and even a day I
without doing something but stand in attention. It's part of
their training. We call it discipline," Marine Lt. Col. Edgard
Arevalo, spokesman for the Philippine Navy (PN), said.

Also during the funeral rites, Mrs. Aquino's former security
chief, retired Lt. Gen. Voltaire Gazmin, her former junior military aide now Cavite
Rep. Jun Abaya and her former close-in escorts chief Lt. Gen. Jose Angel Homado
served as pallbearers at the Manila Memorial Park.

At the Manila Cathedral, senior police officers carried
her casket out of the church for the funeral march.
The Philippine National Police also rendered full honors
to the former President before she was laid to rest.

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