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AFP set for provision of honors, security to new President

MANILA, June 28 — In line with its mission of making sure that the country will have a smooth transition of government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is all set to support the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in providing honors and security for the inauguration of President-elect Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III on Wednesday noon at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.

A 21-gun salute will be rendered for the incoming President instantaneously after lowering his right hand in the administration of his Oath of Office by Supreme Court Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

An Honor Guard Battalion with the Acting AFP Chief of Staff as military host, Lt. Gen. Nestor Z. Ochoa, is scheduled to provide honors (with a 21-gun salute) to outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo upon her arrival at 10:50 a.m., and to the new President after his reading of the "Panata sa Pagbabago" (Pledge of Allegiance) at 12:30 p.m.

Two battalions of soldiers from the National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM) are also set to provide security support to the PSG and the PNP during the activity which are on-call anytime from now until the inauguration day. Personnel from the AFP’s Explosive and Ordnance Division and K9 bomb-sniffing dogs will also provide support to the PNP and the PSG.

Meanwhile, General Ochoa said in a speech during the occasion of his visit at the Philippine Navy headquarters on Monday: “As we go about this critical phase in our country’s history and within our organization, our cooperation with the new administration is equally important as our role during the recently conducted local and national elections."

“Given this, we are to stand united with the national government to maintain peace, security and order in the country. More importantly to discourage belligerent elements in casting havoc upon the newly-installed government. As the upholder of the constitution and democratic will of our countrymen, we must honor and respect our Commander-in-Chief and other elected officials,” he added.

“I implore you to extend the same courtesy and support to the incoming Chief of Staff and, of course, Commander-in-Chief,” Ochoa said. (PNA) vcs/scs/VR

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