Pres. Duterte honors soldiers who died in Sulu plane crash, assures funds, assistance for their families

Says he’ll make sure that the soldiers “did not die in vain”


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte visited the wake of the soldiers who perished in the C-130 plane crash in Patikul, Sulu, expressing his sorrow for the lives lost, as he assured their families of support.

Duterte said he is “at a loss for words” for what happened, as he saluted the soldiers who died in the July 4 crash where 50 perished, including 47 soldiers.

“To the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, this is a very sorrowful event and kung ano ‘yong nasa puso ninyo, ganoon rin ako,” he said in his visit to the Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City on Monday, July 5.

“And as Commander-in-Chief, ako ‘yong pinaka — pinakanasasaktan sa buhay na nawala. I am at a loss of words so that I will end up here, or else I will end up crying also like you. Maraming salamat po. My salute.”

Duterte said that he would see to it that the soldiers did not die in vain. He said the government will extend all the help that it could to their families, and that a fund for the victims’ children would be set up assuring to finance their education.

“The most important thing is that itong namatay (those who have died)…they shall not have died in vain. They died for our country and it behooves upon us to continue the help,” he said.

“They died for our country and, for that, I am very grateful to those who died and those who suffered and are still suffering now. Gusto ko lang malaman ninyo that we will extend all help,” the President said.

Duterte was with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go when he visited the wake of the soldiers, as well as the soldiers who were injured in the crash.

-More funds for soldiers’ families-

He assured funds for the soldiers’ families.

Alam mo sa totoo lang noong ibinalita sa akin, as usual I go into a process of sorrow, more than anybody else o kasing pareho tayo. The life of a soldier is always valuable whether in the fields of fighting or events such as these,” he said.

Pero dito sa panahon ko, I assure you that I will add more benefits for your family,” he said.

The President first visited the soldiers who were injured in the C-130 plane crash who were being treated at the Camp Navarro General Hospital (CNGH) in Zamboanga City. He pinned medals on them, giving the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Kampilan to injured soldiers.

He later proceeded to the Naval Forces for Western Mindanao (NAVFORWEM) to lead the symbolic Conferment of the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the Rank of Kalasag to the fallen soldiers.

Duterte assured assistance for the families of the soldiers.

“What is very important really is that the family that you’ll leave behind will have the same privileges. And importante diyan ang eskwela, which we have set up a foundation for that to see them through to college. Makaabot naman ng kurso sa kolehiyo. And this I promise you, soldiers. I have said this before, nasabi ko na ito. We are still working at it,” he said.

Pero gusto ko lang maiwan — bago ako maiwan, gusto kong maglagay ng malaking pera para sa Armed Forces of the Philippines. Iyan lang ang mabawi ko sa sundalo ko lalo na ‘yong namatay, that they will — their families will be protected, that their families will be comfortable at ‘yong daily living and education of the children will be assured.”

(Eagle News Service)