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PIA Press Release
2008/07/03

PGMA thanks PAF for securing her and the whole nation

Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (3 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed her gratitude to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for securing her and her family, and the whole nation.

The President personally expressed her gratitude to the officials and personnel of the PAF during its 61st Foundation Anniversary celebration held today at the Mactan Benito Ebuen Airbase in Lapu-Lapu City, in Cebu province.

"Congratulations to the Air Force on your anniversary! Thank you, Philippine Air Force for your care for me and my family," the President said.

"I would like to start by expressing a personal tribute to the Air Force on the occasion of your anniversary. I have entrusted my life to the Air Force," she said.

President said her security team -- the Presidential Security Group (PSG) now headed by Brig. Gen. Celedonio Boquiren -- is from the PAF.

She also said former PSG head Brig. Gen. Romeo Prestoza, now the head of the Intelligence Service of the AFP, is also from the Air Force and that the head of the Presidential Guards Battalion, Lt. Col. Ralph Mamauag, is also from the Air Force.

The President added that the PAF Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Pedrito Cadungog, is the head of the Presidential Airlift Wing.

The PAF became a separate military service on July 1, 1947, when President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order 94, which created the Philippine Naval Patrol and the Air Force as equal branches of the Philippine Army and the then Philippine Constabulary.

The PAF was preceded by the Philippine Air Service, Philippine Constabulary Air Corps and the Philippine Army Corps.

From using the 30-year old F-5A fighter jets in the 1990's, the PAF, under its modernization program, has new SF-260 trainer planes and night attack helicopters.

It is also set to acquire eight primary trainer aircraft,10 additional Huey UH-1H utility helicopters, eight brand new combat utility helicopters, eight new attack helicopters, two light lift aircraft,12 trainer helicopters. The PAF would also upgrade 20 MD520MG.

Its modernization goal under the Arroyo administration said the PAF, is to help wipe out the country's insurgency problem by 2010. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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