|(Photos by SN1 Donald Viluan PN and TSg Orlando Liwag PAF/PAO-AFP )|
Published by Public Affairs Office, AFP
CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Gregorio Pio P. Catapang Jr. presented the award of the Philippine Legion of Honor to the chief of the Indonesian armed forces, here during the flag-raising ceremony today at 7:30 am.
General Moeldoko, the 15th Commander-in-Chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces received the award with the Degree of Commander for exceptionally meritorious outstanding service to the Republic of the Philippines.
He was cited for strengthening bilateral defense and military cooperation between the Indonesian armed forces and the AFP through the agreement on military cooperation in the field of defense and security activities.
He was also recognized for actively supporting the International Monitoring Team task force contingent on the consequent signing of the Comprehensive Agreement of the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on March 2014.
At the height of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, Moeldoko promptly directed three Indonesian Hercules C-130 aircraft to transport essential relief items from the Indonesian government to the typhoon-stricken areas.
“On behalf of the Yolanda victims and the whole Filipino nation, we express our deepest gratitude for your generosity and assistance during the calamity. Thank you for the commitment and sincerity to help the Filipino in times of need. It is our privilege to award you the Philippine Legion of Honor,” said Catapang.
“The visit of General Moeldoko and his party today reaffirms that shared commitment of mutual thrust and growing partnership not only between our governments but our armed forces as well,” Catapang added.
“I express my sincere gratitude and high appreciation to General Catapang for this most gracious award. Let us hope that the relationship and cooperation between TNI (Tentara Nasional Indoensia) and AFP will last for a long time,” Moeldoko said.
Moeldoko arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay yesterday with his military staff and crew via an Indonesian military aircraft. He was welcomed with military honors led by General Catapang.
The Philippine Legion of Honor is awarded to Filipino citizens or foreigners for their meritorious service in the military and defense affairs or for exceptional performance of their duties.
It is also the highest award the President can bestow without the need for approval of Congress.
Last year, the former commander of the Indonesian armed forces was also awarded the Philippine Legion of Honor. Retired Admiral Agus Suhartono was awarded for his strong commitment in deepening the military cooperation between the Philippines and the Indonesian military.
Crack shooter honored
Also awarded during this morning’s ceremony is Philippine Army Major Wilfredo Martin Jr. who received the Military Merit Medal.
He was among the Filipino shooters who won Silver Medal after landing 2nd Overall in the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) World Shoot XVII that was held in Florida, USA on October 12, 2014.
Major Martin finished at 9th place over-all for the individual category of the Classic Division that was lorded by veteran shooter Robert Leatham. The event was participated by 1,346 participants representing 60 countries around the world.
“It is an honor to represent the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the whole country in this prestigious event,” said Martin who was once a member of the Philippine Army Shooting Team that participated in the annual ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet.
Martin was part of the 80-man team that represented the country for the competition. Among the Filipino winners were Daniel Torrevillas who won first place in the Classic Division Super Senior Category and Michael Ron Ligon who also won first place in the Classic Junior Category.
The Chief of Staff has previously honored different units and personnel for their outstanding contributions and exceptional performance in line with their duty.
Among the awardees were the 7th Philippine Contingent to Golan Heights who figured in a standoff with Syrian rebels in August; the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team which won two gold medals during the 9th International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crews World Championships in September; and TSg Mariano Pamittan for his professionalism during the incident at the MDB-SEB facility last October.