Amor Patriae
MVP Group chairman Manuel V Pangilinan, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and AFP chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay.

Amor Patriae

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Atty. Mike Toledo (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2021 - 12:00am

All of us harbor a strong belief that it is incumbent upon every Filipino, whether residing here or abroad, to come to the aid of the motherland.

Born not just from altruism, but also from a strong sense of patriotic duty, to be able to give back to one’s country of birth, especially for all the good that the country has given its citizens.

Recently, Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of the MVP Group of companies, donated several pieces of equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines or AFP.

Chief among these was an MBB Bo 105 helicopter to the Philippine Army.

MBB stands for Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm and the Bo 105 is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopter developed by Bölkow of Ottobrunn in Germany.

The Bo 105 is the first light twin-engine helicopter in the world and the first rotorcraft that can perform aerobatic maneuvers such as inverted loops.

Rescue boats, trucks and a chopper donated to the AFP.

The versatility and maneuverability of this helicopter is expected to boost the Army’s disaster response, air ambulance, reconnaissance and maritime patrol operations.

Colonel Ramon Zagala, an old friend who is now the Philippine Army spokesperson, said that the donated helicopter would also be used in the training of members of the Army Aviation Regiment.

The Philippine Army’s Aviation “Hiraya” Regiment was activated on July 5, 2019 and is at present led by Col. Andre B. Santos. The regiment was expanded from Army Aviation Battalion and has been instrumental in the Army’s aerial reconnaissance and maritime patrols over Northern Luzon, Eastern Mindanao, and the Western Mindanao Command.

Zagala mentioned that the chopper would serve as “a springboard to improve the capacity of army aviation in supporting government agencies in the face of disasters and calamities in the country.”

The Philippine Army, as part of the total AFP modernization program, hopes to acquire more aircraft in the coming years, including armed reconnaissance helicopters, medium-lift multipurpose helicopters and special mission aircraft.

Aside from the helicopter, MVP also donated brand-new rescue boats, life vests, and trucks for use by the other service branches of the AFP.

The donations were formalized in a signing ceremony held at Camp Aguinaldo with MVP, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay, and Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.

Aside from the donations, MVP will help train military doctors in the use of advanced and modern medical equipment through a memorandum of agreement signed between the AFP and the Makati Medical Center Foundation.

(From left) Metropac Movers, Inc. CFO Anna Bengzon, the author, One Meralco Foundation president Jeffrey Tarayao, PLDT-Smart Foundation’s Esther Santos, Smart president and CEO Al Panlilio, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. president Joey Lim; MVP, Lorenzana, Gapay, Philippine Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Philippine Air Force Com-manding General Lt. Gen. Allen T. Paredes, and Philippine Navy Vice Commander Vice Admiral Adelius S. Bordado.

All these were made possible with the support of Metro Pacific’s Joey Lim and Melody del Rosario, Smart president Al Panlilio, PLDT-Smart’s Esther Santos and Joy Hilao, One Meralco Foundation’s Jeff Tarayao, Makati Medical Center Foundation’s Marge Macasaet Barro, Metro Pacific Movers Anna Bengzon, Pacific Global One’s Butch Meily, and PBA chairman Ricky Vargas.

Last April of 2020, at the height of the pandemic and while we were under Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ, the MVP Group, through PLDT, donated 30 vehicles for AFP frontliners or members of the AFP Medical Corp.

“We have always been supportive of government endeavors, particularly in times of need,” MVP said. “The nationwide presence of our businesses enables us to mobilize resources throughout the country and provide us with the means to augment the government’s facilities to respond effectively to disasters and calamities.”

MVP likewise said that the relationship with the AFP dates back 15, 16 years ago. This was not the first time that the MVP Group has donated to the AFP.

Not the first time, and definitely not the last.

Col. Ramon Zagala, Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, the author, Col. Rey Alemania.
(Standing from Left) Makati Medical Center Foundation program consultant retired Col. Achilles R. Estravila, MMC Foundation executive director Mary Margaret M. Barro, MMC Founda-tion president Dr. Victor L. Gisbert, Maj. Gen. Adriano S. Perez Jr. and Col. Nelson Pecache. (Seated, from left) MVP, Lorenzana, and Gapay.


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