Military honors for Marine killed in rescue of Indonesian hostages

Robie de Guzman   •   December 25, 2019   •   675

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Marines rendered full military honors to Sergeant Romnick Estacio who was killed in an encounter in Sulu while rescuing the Indonesian hostages from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group.

The full military honors for Estacio were held on Tuesday at the Philippine Marine Corps Headquarters in Taguig City. It was led by Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad and Marines chief Major General Nathaniel Casem.

“Sgt Estacio offered the ultimate sacrifice during the focused military operations of the Naval Task Group Sulu (NTGS) against the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) that resulted to the rescue of two (2) Indonesian nationals from the hands of the terrorists at Brgy Pugad Manaul, Panamao, Sulu on 22 December 2019,” the Philippine Marines said in a statement.

Estacio was a member of the 62nd Marine Company. He had been among the soldiers deployed in several combat operations, including in Mindanao.

He fought during the Marawi City siege in Mindanao and was awarded a Bronze Cross Medal for his efforts during the height of the liberation of Marawi in 2017.

“He will always be remembered as an extraordinary Marine, a Hero of our modern time,” the Philippine Marines said.

The agency also extends its deepest sympathy to Estacio’s bereaved family.

“The Filipino people salute our Marine hero Sgt Estacio and his Family. Their grief cannot be alleviated by no words. However, the appreciation of the grateful Nation is more than enough for your Marines,” it said.

Solon pushes for military honors for OFWs who died of COVID-19 abroad

Marje Pelayo   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker is pushing for the granting of military honors to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who succumbed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) abroad as they can be considered as ‘modern-day heroes.’

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. in House Resolution No. 1027 said the sacrifices of OFWs and their significant contribution to the country’s economy are enough to merit them such military honors. 

Based on the latest count of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), a total of 577 OFWs have already died of COVID-19 from the overall number of 8,679 confirmed cases across the globe. 

Datol said OFWs are qualified under The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines for their unconditional sacrifices as overseas workers. 

The lawmaker also proposed that the government shoulder the complete burial expenses of every OFW who died of COVID-19 abroad as part of the full military honors. 

Philippine Marines train with Australian army on urban warfare after Marawi battle

admin   •   December 19, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Two months after the war in the Marawi City came to an end, Melijie Powao has yet to locate her husband.

Her husband was working as a construction worker in Marawi and was one of the hostages of the Maute terror group.

“The war is over but we still don’t know what really happened to our husbands. I hope the government can help us in finding the truth,” said Melijie.

“As long as there’s no corpse, I refuse to believe that he’s dead,” she said.

While Melijie continues to search for her missing husband, the military is also still sweeping the main battle area.

This is part of the clearing operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) where military troops assess each area to ensure that it is clear of bombs or traps left by terrorists.

“We now have our EOD teams or our explosive ordinance disposal teams going around in these areas. They’ve divided the 24 barangays into sectors and they’re now clearing each sector one day at a time,” said Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Commander Col. Romeo Brawner, Jr.

Meanwhile, a battalion of the Philippine Marines underwent urban training exercise with the Australian military.

“We do not want to see terrorist groups like ISIS establishing in Southeast Asia. We consider that not just as a threat to the Philippines or the Southeast Asian Region, but also a threat to Australia’s own national security. So, that’s why we think it’s important to provide whatever assistance we can to the countries of Southeast Asia to deal with the threat that is, unfortunately, in our midst,” said Australian ambassador to the Philippines, Amanda Gorely.

This is part of the series of training pledged by Australia to the AFP after Marawi City was liberated from terrorist influence.

It can be recalled the urban warfare became a huge challenge to Filipino troops as they were not used to fight in such a setup.

“The new techniques that we acquired from the Australian defense force are very, very important to all of us. This is very applicable now that we are fighting a new type of enemy, a new type of design of spectrum of warfare,” said Philippine Marine Corps Commandant Major General Alvin Parreño.

Another batch of Filipino soldiers will undergo the said training in January next year.

It can be recalled Australia lent two P3 Orion spy planes to Filipino troops for its intelligence gathering during the clashes in Marawi City. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue


9 Non-ASEAN member nations join ASEAN navies in first-ever multilateral naval exercise in Thailand

UNTV News   •   November 21, 2017

The Philippine Navy’s largest vessel, BRP Tarlac together with the BRP Gregorio del Pilar took part in the first-ever multilateral naval exercise conducted by ASEAN held in Pattaya, Chon Buri province.

To prove the harmony of international navies, the Royal Thai Navy as host has combined three significant events into a single one under the Rubric of the International fleet review: specifically, the International Fleet Review 2017, the first ASEAN Multilateral Naval Exercise or the first AMNEX 2017 and the 11th ASEAN Navy Chief’s meeting.

On Sunday, crews from all 10 ASEAN member states and 9 non-ASEAN countries participated in the naval drills joined operations demonstrations and international navies city parade which was witnessed by the public at Pattaya beach, Thailand.

The Philippine Navy’s participation in the AMNEX 2017 aimed to convey the command’s commitment to developing maritime operational capability to increase readiness and interoperability and strengthen the relationship among regional and extra-regional navies.

Meanwhile, the Filipino community in Thailand in cooperation with the Philippine Navy and marines staged a concert for a cause entitled “Rebuilding Marawi” last Saturday.

“Sa pamamagitan ng pag-perform para sa ating mga kababayan na hindi masyadong sinuwerte sa Marawi so napakalaking tulong sa inyong Phil. Navy na ang Fil Community dito sa Thailand ay nag-organize ng ganito (By performing for our fellow Filipinos who were not as lucky in Marawi, it is a big help to the Philippine Navy that the Filipino community in Thailand organized this),” Philippine Marines Msgt. Ramil Baile said.

Organizers provided free transportation from different points of Bangkok, Pattaya, and Rayong to the venue. Filipino delicacies were also served during the concert.

The affair also gave the Filipinos in Thailand a chance to interact with our Filipino soldiers who supported our troops in Marawi.

“Wherever our Philippine Navy goes, binigbigyan natin ang kasiyahan sa ating mga kababayan, dahil alam naming na namimis nyo na rin ang mga balita, lalo na ang makipagfellowship sa ating mga kakababayan lalo na sa ating mga navy at marine,” Fleet Marine Ready Force Commander Commodore Albert Mogol said.

(We give happiness to our fellow Filipinos because we know they would like to know what’s new in the Philippines and they miss the fellowship with our compatriots, especially our navy and marine.)

The Philippine Navy contingent will remain in Thailand on the course of the naval exercises until Wednesday, November 22.

“Sa mga kababayan nating Filipino dito sa Thailand, dapat nating ipagmalaki ang gating bansa kahit saan tayo mapunta(To or fellow Filipinos in Thailand, you should always be proud of your country wherever you go). Gaya ng ginagawa ng ating (just like with the)Philippine Navy, wherever our Navy is we always carry our flag. We are proud,” Mogol said   – Kath Dumaraos | UNTV News & Rescue


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