"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Salute to the bravery of Marines

The Marines who were killed and wounded fighting the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) that took three workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jolo, Sulu on Jan. 15 were commended by Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon.

In salute to the brave Marines, Gordon, also chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), has filed Senate Resolution 1004 lauding the members of the Philippine Marines for their extraordinary bravery and courage in the call of duty.

"They deserve to be honored and remembered for their unparalleled dedication to the military service by rendering the ultimate sacrifice of laying down their lives in the call of duty," he said of the Marines killed.

"The Philippine Senate proudly honors and remembers them for their valiant efforts to defend and uphold the peace and order situation in Mindanao," he added.

The bloody encounter between government forces and the Abu Sayyaf bandits resulted to the deaths of Corporal Jo-Kris L. Fegura, Corporal Jeflor Q. Dela Torre, and Private First Class Franklin B. Castillo.

In an effort to secure the release of ICRC workers, Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba, the Marines cordoned a hilly jungle near the town of Indanan, Sulu, where the Abu Sayyaf are reportedly holding the hostages.

Firefight ensued on March 16 when Abu Sayyaf gunmen led by Albader Parad tried to break out of the loose cordon and resulted in the death of the three Marines and the wounding of 19 other members of the military contingent.

Wounded were: Lieutenant Cademer D. Cabrera; Sergeants Leonardo B. Payba and Cresinciano R. Despida; Corporals Reydinel T. Dagasgas, Winston D. Gupaal, Roland G. Ordanel, Jolly O. Espera, and Philip O. Verzosa.

Also wounded were; Charlie D. Rodriguez, Rommel A. Cea, Onofre R. Bolante, Joel H. Bermejo, Ian R. Reobilo, Terejohn B. Cadosale, Marco A. Torres, Eric F. Habla, Arnel A.. Balnao, Ruel E. Talisio, and Reymundo T. Olayra, all Private First Class.

"The Philippine Senate proudly recognizes and commends them for their bravery and dedication in maintaining the peace and continuing the government's efforts in curbing kidnapping incidents in the country," Gordon said of the wounded Marines.

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