DAVAO CITY, Feb. 19 (PIA) -- The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) here bestowed on Thursday financial assistance and scholarship benefits to families of five soldiers who were killed in action in different areas of Mindanao for the period 2008-2009.
Major General Arthur I. Tabaquero, commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command also honored the AFP battle casualties and awarded P250,000 each to their respective families in special financial assistance during awarding rites at Eastmincom in Camp Panacan this city.
Col. Abraham Claro C. Casis, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs, told the Philippine Information Agency, that the special financial assistance is part of OPAMA’s programs, which he said came from the social fund of the Office of the President.
Casis graced the awarding rites and told the PIA that aside from the regular benefits provided for soldiers killed and wounded in action, the OPAMA also gives assistance.
He explained that his office caters to the welfare and affairs of government soldiers, coordinates with and recommends to the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) any funding requirement to support the families of battle casualties and wounded soldiers.
“The battle casualties are entitled to assistance which will be given to their direct dependents,” Casis stated.
The mother of Private First Class Arnel O. Ado, who was killed in a battle in Brgy. Catigan, Toril, Davao City in March 2008, received a check worth P250,000, along with the mother of Jesrel Jan L. Liratao, a civilian action auxiliary, who died in March 2009 in Zamboangita, San Fernando, Bukidnon.
The father of Private Marlon L. Narval, who came from Lanao del Norte, was also given the same amount. Narval was a battle casualty in Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan, Compostela Valley province.
Meanwhile, the wives of Pfc. Winnie P. Agustin and Pfc. Ricky P. Saja, respectively received their checks also. Agustin was killed in action in February 2009 in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Quezon, Bukidnon, while Saja died in April of the same year in Barangay Dagohoy, Talaingod, Davao del Norte.
Casis said children of the casualties were also awarded with scholarship certificates from the AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO), explaining that the program was given to children ages seven to 21 years old.
He said AFPEBSO is one unit of the AFP that is primarily responsible for the granting of educational benefits to military personnel and their dependents.
Aside from the financial and education benefits, Casis said the families of the soldiers were also bestowed of certificates of housing assistance.
Meanwhile, Casis said that soldiers wounded in action were also given citations and awarded with financial assistance.
Five soldiers who sustained major injuries during battles in battles in Lingig, Surigao del Sur, and Boston and Baganga, Davao Oriental, and Monkayo, Compostela Valley, received P100,000 each.
Another ten soldiers with minor injuries were given P50,000 each. These soldiers fought in battles in Baganga in Davao Oriental; Quezon, Baungon and San Fernando, Bukidnon; Davao City; Mamasapano and Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Panabo City and Cotabato City. (PIA-11/Carina L. Cayon)