THE Philippine Military Academy (PMA) yesterday paid tribute to outgoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Ricardo R. Visaya at Fort Gregorio Del Pilar, Baguio City.
In a Testimonial Parade and Review held at the PMA Academy, the officers, soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen of the PMA including the Cadel Corps Armed Forces of the Philippines led by PMA Supt. Major General Donato San Juan II bid goodbye to the Chief of Staff.
AFP Public Affairs Office (PAO) chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo said during the ceremony the Chief of Staff was given full honors in a manner every alumnus of the academy would wish.
“To be tendered a Testimonial Parade and Review by PMA—which the outgoing Chief of Staff, General Visaya deems the cradle of his youth— is a fitting salute to a son who has given more than half of his life in the service of country and people,” Arevalo said.
Prior to his appointment to the highest military post, General Visaya held several key positions in the AFP.
He was the Commander of two prestigious Brigades – the 104th Brigade in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Lanao Provinces and Basilan, and 901st Brigade in the Bicol Region.
The Chief of staff was also designated as Commander of the 4th Infantry Division in Cagayan de Oro City.
Before becoming AFP Chief of Staff on July 1, 2016, General Visaya was the 28th Commander of the Southern Luzon Command.
In his speech, General Visaya expressed his gratitude to the entire PMA where his career as public servant started.
“This is where it all started. This is where we all realized our dreams to serve our nation through the noble profession of arms.” Visaya said.
“The PMA is where we were honed to be the best that we can be, to live the honorable way, and to be leaders of courage, integrity and loyalty,” Visaya added.
Looking back, General Visaya said his strong desire to be part of change drove him to finish what he started in PMA and his entire military career.
He also reminded the cadets particularly the graduating PMA SALAKNIB Class of 2017 to be military professionals called to serve God, country and people.
“We must act and conduct ourselves with the highest level of excellence and competence expected of us. Just do your job to the best of your ability and you will be surprised that what you will receive is actually more than what you aimed for,” he said.
General Visaya reaches the retirement age of 56 on Thursday after 37 years of military service.
He is a member of PMA “Matikas” Class of 1983 that produced three AFP Chiefs of Staff.