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Army adopts social distancing to mark 123rd anniversary

The 4th Infantry Division joined the Philippine Army in celebrating its 123rd anniversary in Camp Evangelista, Patag, Cagayan de Oro yesterday morning.

“The 123rd Founding Anniversary of the Army is celebrated in a simple but meaningful way, as we are reminded of our service – to selflessly serve the people of Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions,” Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio Gacal, 4th ID commander, said in his message.

“This is also the time for us to look back and recognize our fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice, offering their lives, for us to attain the freedom and democracy we are experiencing now,” he added.

Gacal said that the country is faced with a different kind of threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the soldiers are committed to helping all healthcare personnel and local government units to implement the measures to contain the spread of the virus.

“We will surpass this epidemic endangering the lives of everybody, with the collaborative efforts of the different agencies of the government and the cooperation of the community, we will succeed,” he added.

Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad, the 4th ID Public Affairs Office chief, said they observed the safety protocols of the Department of Health, including social distancing, during the flag-raising ceremony and oath of allegiance activity.

Lt. Gen. Gilbert I. Gapay, commanding general of the Philippine Army, in his message said, “By patriotism, the Philippine Army has evolved from its humble beginnings to become the reliable and effective force that it is today: from our fight to freedom until this day against hybrid threats, and man-made and natural calamities.

The Philippine Army traces its roots during the Filipino-Spanish war. It was established when Emilio Aguinaldo was elected president of the Philippine Revolutionary Government at the Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897 in Tejeros, San Francisco de Malabon in Cavite.

Artemio Ricarte was elected to lead the army and designated as captain-general of the Ejercito en la Republica de las Islas Filipinas or the Army of the Philippine Republic.

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