President Aquino pays last respects to soldiers killed in Zamboanga standoff
NORZAGARAY, Bulacan) President Benigno S. Aquino III paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 1st Lieutenant John Kristofer Rama, the first officer-casualty of the Armed Forces of the Philippines killed in clashes with the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction in Zamboanga City, during his visit to the Rama household here on Thursday.
The President, who was accompanied by Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, arrived at Rama's wake at 10:45 a.m.
According to Erlnda, Rama's wife, the President pledged to provide housing and educational assistance for her and her daughter Elisa Irene.
She expressed her heartfelt gratutude for the President's visit and pledge, and said that she felt proud the President chose to honor the memory of her husband with his presence.
After staying some 20 minutes, the President left for Pulilan, Bulacan to visit the wake of 2nd Lt. Florencio Michael Esguerra Meneses and then for Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City to visit the wake of 1st Lt. Francis Damian. PND (rck)
President Aquino visits wake of an army officer in Pulilan, Bulacan
PULILAN, Bulacan) President Benigno S. Aquino III visited on Thursday the wake of an Army officer who died in an encounter between the government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front Misuari faction in Zamboaga City last September 23.
The Chief Executive paid his last respects and condoled with the family of 27-year-old 1st LT Florencio Mikael Esguerra Meneses, an officer of the 7th Scout Ranger Company and member of the Philippine Military Academy Laon-Alab Class of 2011.
Accompanied by Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad, President Aquino arrived at the wake on Cueto Street, Barangay Tibag at 11:30 a.m.
President Aquino handed financial assistance to the slain officer's parents Regina and Alberto Meneses. He also expressed his condolences to the officer's siblings, namely Elizabeth Peralta, Janina Reyes and Gracia Chen.
The parents of LT. Meneses expressed gratitude to the President for visiting the wake of their only son who died during clash in Zamboanga City.
During the visit that lasted for 30 minutes, the President told Regina that he directed the Department of National Defense (DND) and other concerned government agencies to further conduct a review of the military systems and procedures with the aim of preventing unnecessary loss of lives during combat.
The President told the family that he acknowledged the bravery of Meneses who gave his own life to serve the country and the Filipino people. PND (js)
President Aquino visits wake of 1st Lt Francis Damian
After earlier condoling with the families of two officer-fatalities in Norzagaray and Pulilan in Bulacan province, President Benigno S. Aquino III paid his respects to 1st Lieutenant Francis Damian, whose wake is being held in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Thursday.
Damian, together with 1st Lt John Kristofer Rama and 2nd Lt Florencio Meneses, are among three officer-casualties of the Armed Forces of the Philippines killed after engaging members of the Moro National Liberation Front-Misuari faction in Zamboanga City.
Tensions between government troops and the MNLF-Misuari faction is now on its 18th day with no clear resolution in sight.
The President, who was accompanied by Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, arrived at the Camp Aguinaldo chapel at around 12:25 p.m.
After condoling with Damian's wife, Lt Junior Leslie Campos Damian, and their seven-month old daughter Sophie, President Aquino left Camp Aguinaldo at a little past one o'clock in the afternoon. PND (rck)