COLONEL PACMAN. Army Chief Major General Emmanuel 'Manny' Bautista (left) attaches the shoulder board bearing the new rank of Lt Colonel to the uniform of his namesake, Congressman Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao. Army Reserve Command Chief Brigadier General Alex Albano assists Bautista. (Photo by Pfc Cesar Lopez)
FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – Sarangani Congressman Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao has formally worn his newly acquired rank in the Army reserve force today, a military report said.
In a simple ceremony attended by senior military officials and garrison personnel of the Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Army Chief Major General Emmanuel 'Manny' Bautista donned the shoulder board on Pacquiao's general office attire (GOA). The event was coincided with the Army's flag raising ceremony at around 8:00am.
In his speech, Bautista cited the contributions of Congressman Pacquiao in the organization.
“The reservists, among them government officials like Pacman, are indispensable stakeholders in our campaign to win the peace through the implementation and execution of our Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) Bayanihan,” said Bautista.
"With all his accomplishments, Pacman is indeed a world class athlete and a source of national pride. Based on the Army Transformation Roadmap, the Army's vision is also to become a world-class organization that is the source of national pride," he added.
Pacquiao applied for commissionship to the reserve force in June 2011. On September 21, 2011, President Benigno S Aquino III approved the appointment of Pacquiao to the reserve force with a rank of a Lieutenant Colonel.
Prior to his commissionship, Pacquiao held the rank of Senior Master Sergeant and was also designated as the Command Sergeant Major of the 15th Ready Reserve Division.
Major Harold M Cabunoc, Acting Army Spokesperson, maintained that Pacquiao’s commissionship to Lieutenant Colonel is legitimate.
“His commissionship was based on the provisions of Section 44 of Republic Act 7077 which provides that elected officials and presidential appointees may be commissioned into the Reserve Force subject to the existing AFP rules and regulations’,” said Cabunoc.
“I would like to emphasize that this is an appointment to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and not a promotion as assumed by some people,” Cabunoc added.
Pacman has joined the short list of government officials who were commissioned as officers of the reserve force.
Senator Lito Lapid was the governor of Pampanga when he was commissioned as a Major. As an incumbent senator, he can apply for readjustment of rank as a Lt Colonel like Pacquiao.
Other prominent personalities who are military reservists include Senator Loren Legarda (Lt Col), Mayor Herbert Bautista (Lt Col) and Vice President Jejomar Binay (Colonel).
Donning of rank insignia is one of the traditions in the Army intended to publicly recognize the soldiers who are either promoted or appointed to a certain rank due to their accomplishments.
MY JOB as a PIO is to discuss to our honoree, Lt Colonel Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao, the Army's command messages that he needs for the media interview right after the donning of ranks ceremony. (Photo by Sgt Robert Sigue)