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By: MSg Timoteo Cristobal Coronel (CE) PA Chief Clerk, G7, 51E, PA AC of S for Logistics, G4

Amidst the effect of flood water and mud brought about by Typhoon Ondoy in some facilities of the brigade, organic personnel of the unit hurried in the preparation of the venue for the commemoration of Gen Rigoberto J Atienza Day, a day conducted every 8th day of November wherein the brigade reminisces the death anniversary of Gen Atienza, the first engineer officer to serve as AFP Chief of Staff, and whose memory the camp was named.

Started in 1980, the brigade has been observing the Gen Atienza Day as a traditional affair in the brigade calendar of activities in coordination with relatives of the late general and members of the Gen Rigoberto J Atienza Memorial Foundation. As customary, the activity started with a mass at the brigade Chapel attended by family of the late general: Mrs Eloisa Atienza-Lim; Mrs Sally Atienza-Hernando and Mrs Josephine Salvaņa, relatives and organic personnel of the brigade. After the mass, guests and personnel of the brigade welcomed the guest of honor and speaker (GOHAS) His Excellency former president Fidel V Ramos, who was then a Captain in the Army during the incumbency of Gen Atienza as Chief of Staff, AFP. Among the personalities who graced the occasion included LTGEN DELFIN N BANGIT, CG,PA and MGEN RUDIVAL S CABADING, The Chief of Engineers, AFP, previous Brigade Commanders, distinguished officers and friends of the Atienza Familiy. After a warm welcome given to the GOHAS during his arrival, former President Ramos, assisted by BGEN SIMOY and Mrs Eloisa Atienza Lim, offered wreath of flowers in honor of the late Gen Atienza.

It was followed by the unveiling of marker of the newly constructed Lineage of Commanders of the 51st Engineer Brigade around the monument of Gen Atienza. Former President Ramos took time in viewing all the markers of the past and present engineer brigade commanders wherein some happened to be his contemporaries in the military service. From the Gen Atienza monument, he led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly renovated General Atienza Museum where the memorabilia of the late general were presently displayed. The program proper followed at the Officers’ Clubhouse wherein the GOHAS conferred Plaques of Appreciation to awardees of the Gen Rigoberto J Atienza Memorial Foundation Inc Awardees for 2009.

In his remarks, the former president appreciated the tribute given by the brigade to the late Gen Atienza, that of honoring someone who left behind legacies worth inspiring and emulating. Herewith is his quoted concluding message to the Engineers’:

“All engineers of whatever discipline knows that UST means-Unity of Purpose, Solidarity in Values and Teamwork in Nation Building. These are the virtues that must be in place before, during and after any project where our engineers are actively immersed providing technical expertise, management skills and organizational leadership.

General Rigoberto J Atienza nurtured his career to attain these virtues and rose to be the Chief of Staff on 13 July 1965, when he laid down his 5 tenets of leadership and management thus:

General Rigoberto J Atienza nurtured his career to attain these virtues and rose to be the Chief of Staff on 13 July 1965, when he laid down his 5 tenets of leadership and management thus:

(1) humaneness and fairness
(2) maximum efficiency at minimum cost
(3) valid standard of performance
(4) continuity of effort, and
(5) abiding by our country, people and God.

He did his best and that was good enough. General Atienza taught us the way. I pray that future military engineers and soldiers will also be guided by the example and ideas lived by General Atienza”.