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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

AFP identifies 19 of the 49 fatalities; AFP WestMinCom extends thanks to Tausug community

Armed Forces of the Philippines identifies 19 of the 49 fatalities in C-130 mishap; AFP WestMinCom credits community residents for the rescue

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines today said they have identified at least 19 of the 49 fatalities of the PAF C-130 mishap in Patikul, Sulu last Sunday.

Among those identified were Major Emmanuel Makalintal, Major Michael Vincent Benolerao, First Lt. Joseph Hintay, Technical Sgt. Mark Anthony Agana, Technical Sgt. Donald Badoy, Staf Sgt. Jan Neil Macapaz, Staff Sgt. Michael Bulalaque, and Sgt. Jack Navarro from the Philippine Air Force.

Also identified were the remains of Capt. Higello Emeterio from the AFP Medical Corps and First Lt. Sheena Alexandria Tato from the AFP Nurse Corps.

The AFP also confirmed the identification of Sgt. Butch Maestro, Privat First Class Christopher Rollon, Private First Class Felixazalday Provido, Privates Raymar Carmona, Vico Monera, Mark Nash Lumanta, Jomar Gabas, Marcelino Alquisar and Mel Mark Argana, all from the Philippine Army.

The AFP already transported 11 of the remains to their respective hometowns. These were the remains of Captain Emeterio, Sgt. Maestro, TSgt. Agana, PFC Rollon, PFC Provido, Pvt. Gabas, Pvt. Alqiusar, Pvt. Lumanta, Pvt. Angana, Pvt. Carmona and Pvt. Monera.

The remains if 1Lt. Tato are being transported via C-295 aircraft while seven of the identified remains are being prepared for air and land transport.

AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana said they hope to identify the remains of the 30 other fatalities in Zamboanga City as well as the ongoing investigation of the incident.

He also corrected the previous report of 50 fatalities as there was a double entry. As of today, there are 49 casualties from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“This is a very hard task since the cadavers were beyond recognition but we have experts supporting our efforts. We are doing our best to expedite the identification and the ongoing investigation without compromising its credibility,” said General Sobejana.

He appealed for the public’s understanding as investigation teams are gathering more pieces of evidence to find out the circumstances of the mishap.

“Our people can be assured of the AFP’s transparency however the investigation process takes time. All factors are being considered in our deliberate efforts to ensure the accuracy of the findings,” he concluded.

Incidentally, the Western Mindanao Command expressed appreciation for the assistance extended by local residents to the victims of the C-130 crash last Sunday.

In a statement, they lauded the Tausug community who were the first responders and rescued several of the survivors.

In a statement, Lt. General Corleto Vinluan Jr., AFP Western Command chief said the military received overwhelming support from the villagers to responded to the mishap.

“To the survivors and all of us, our Tausug brothers and sisters are our heroes. They risked their lives to save their fellow Filipinos,” Lt. General Vinluan said.

Aside from the villagers, the CAFGUs and cadre from Bangkal Patrol Base were among the first responders who rescued more than 20 wounded soldiers from the incident. (Melo M. Acuña)

Local residents rescued the injured passengers of the ill-fated C-130 which crashed in a village in Patikul, Sulu last Sunday which killed 52 persons, 49 of whom were military personnel. (AFP WestMinCom Photo)

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