As a show of gratitude to cops, soldiers: Celso extends cash aid to clash victims PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 November 2011 15:44

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday afternoon handed over the city government’s cash assistance amounting to more than P.5 million to the soldiers and policemen who were either killed or wounded in action during clashes with armed groups believed to be Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels in the provinces of Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay including this city.

Lobregat also extended similar assistance to 22 victims of three bombing incidents that occurred in the city last month, when Zamboanga was in the thick of its annual Fiesta Hermosa Festival.

“I am sure no amount of assistance can compensate the pain and the loss that the families of those men in uniform including the civilians have suffered. Nevertheless, this amount is a token of deep appreciation from the city government and the people of Zamboanga,” Lobregat said shortly before the cash distribution program at City Hall conference room.

Present were Brig. Gen. Gerardo Layug, deputy commander of the Western Mindanao Command; Col. Gerry Barrientos, commander of the 102nd Army Brigade based in Ipil, Sibugay; Col. Moises Naïve, commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion based in Al-Barka, Basilan, who received most of the checks for and in behalf of soldiers killed or wounded, but failed to attend the program; Task Force Zamboanga commander Col. Buenaventura Pascual, Sr. Supt. Edwin De Ocampo, officer-in-charge of the Zamboanga City Police Office, and City Social Welfare and Development Officer Francisco Barredo.

The chief executive first distributed the checks for the 19 army soldiers killed and 14 others wounded in the encounter with MILF rebels in Albarka, Basilan on Oct. 18, most of whom were from Luzon and other parts of Mindanao.

Killed were 1Lt. Colt G. Alsiyao, 1Lt. Frank Junder P. Caminos, 1Lt. Vladimir A. Maninang, 2Lt. Jose Delfin E. Khe, Sgt. Ronald G. Sta. Rita, Sgt. Bonifacio R. Mabalot, Cpl. Roderick J. Cabucana, Pfc. Dennis R. Bulan, Pfc. Ervin O. Dequito, Pfc. Jordan M. Magno, Pfc. Jobert D. Miguel, Pfc. Emerson C. Tugas, Pfc. Jordan D. Olivar, Pfc. Robert M. Recafranka, Pfc. Jones S. Regor, Pfc. Reny Y. Arciga, Pfc. Romel L. Ondovilla, Pfc. Mark Ted A. Quiban and Pfc. Garry G. Colonia. Their next of kin will receive the assistance at P10,000 each through Col. Barrientos.

Wounded in the Albarka encounter were 1Lt. Joy R. Boliguen, 2Lt. Fidel S. Susarno, Pfc. Jeff Sherwin S. Domingo, Pfc. Alex C. Recafranka, Pfc. Benjamin C. Marquez, Pfc. Arnel M. Balili, Pfc. Mario D. Flora, Pfc. Joseph C. Muyco, Pfc. Jestoni B. Layson, Pfc. Reynante S. Malinao, Pfc. Rossel B. Alsaga, Pvt. Leo L. Boniol, Pvt. Toney Rey S. Espineda, and Pfc. Michael R. Natividad.

Also recipients of the city’s cash assistance were 7 other soldiers killed in the series of firefights with MILF rebels in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay on Oct. 20 and 24, and one TF Zamboanga soldier Cpl. Jerry R. Sacayan, who was killed in the Oct. 25 encounter in the sea off Taluksangay, this city.

The firefights in Payao, Ipil and Kabasalan, all Zamboanga Sibugay towns, had 9 soldiers wounded while in the Taluksangay encounter, 3 were injured.  All received cash assistance of P5,000 each for those with major injuries and P3,000 each for those who sustained minor injuries.

The total number of recipients is 27 soldiers killed and 27 others wounded in action for a total of P435,000.00 assistance in cash. The relatives of the soldier killed in the Taluksangay encounter received P15,000.

Cash assistance for 22 bombing victims amounted to P122,000.

The city government has extended similar assistance to families of soldiers and policemen killed or wounded in action during previous clashes in other parts of the region. “We have done this even in the past and we are doing this to show our soldiers and policemen and men in uniform that the Zamboangueños appreciate their bravery, courage and gallantry and for rendering service beyond the call of duty”. — Vic Larato