The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) once again paid tribute to WBA super welterweight champion Sen. Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, in simple ceremony held at the Lapu-Lapu grandstand in Camp Aguinaldo.
The activity was held in recognition of Sen. Paquiao’s recent victory in the ring over erstwhile undefeated super welterweight champion Keith Thurman, which brought honor and pride to the country and to the AFP Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal formally welcomed Sen. Paquiao during his visit.
Senator Paquiao who holds the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserve Corps was accorded military honors upon his arrival at the grandstand at 3pm.
Also present at the grandstand were officers and men of the major service commands who braved the inclement weather to personally see the Filipino Boxing Champion.
During the ceremony, Gen. Madrigal presented the AFP Coat of Arms to Pacquiao with a citation which reads: “Adopting the symbolism of the Philippine National Flag, this coat of arms imbibes the tenets of service and patriotism upheld by each and every soldier, as immensely manifested in the professional contributions that inspire our countrymen”.
Gen. Madrigal likewise, awarded Paquiao the Chief of Staff Achievement Medal also known as the General Artemio Ricarte Medal for his outstanding accomplishments in the ring. In his message, General Madrigal said, "This tribute is just a small token of our appreciation for the significant accomplishments that he has done both inside the boxing ring and outside of the ring.”
In response, Senator Paquiao expressed his gratitude to the soldiers, “As a senator and as a reservist I am reminded to keep upholding in excellence in everything I do, serving with compassionate in my mission just like you (soldiers) I want to be a 24 hours in action, that’s one of my reason why I decide to be a reservist, with this I wholeheartedly recognized the importance of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in serving and protecting to our country, ngayon po ay may mga panukala ako na isinusulong para sa pagpapalakas ng ating reservist, maliban yan sa bill na aking isinulong na ibalik ang ROTC meron din akong panukala na naglalayong itaas ang hazard pay ng PNP at AFP.