CAUAYAN CITY — The families of two soldiers who were killed in the deadly church blasts in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday, cried for justice as the Philippine flag-draped coffins of the victims arrived at the Cauayan airport here on board a C-130 plane, Tuesday afternoon.
The remains of Army Sgt. Mark Des Simbre of San Isidro, Isabela and Corporal John Mangawit of Tanudan, Kalinga were met with arrival honors by their colleagues and were later brought to the 5th Infantry Division for necrological services before they would be brought to their hometowns on Wednesday.
Simbre and Mangawit belong to the 41st Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army who were deployed in Jolo in 2017 to beef up the military contingent there.
“It pains to see my husband in a coffin but I cannot bring him back to life anymore. He is a hero for the country,” Simbre’s wife, Rosemarie, said as she was comforted by her relatives.
Mangawit’s coffin was also met by some his relatives from Kalinga while his wife was still on her way to the military camp in Gamu after staying in Abra.
Major Gen. Perfecto Rimando, 5th Infantry Division commander, described the slain soldiers as “heroes who lost their lives and limbs” in the quest for peace.
“We honor their service in the military as exemplary for sacrificing their lives for service,” he added.
Simbre and Mangawit were among the 22 people killed and more or less 100 others wounded in the bomb blasts.
Their colleagues who were wounded in the incident were identified as Staff Sgt. Victor Ubaldo, Corporal Jonel Ngitit, Corporal Timothy Bigot, Private First-Class Jonathan Magguia, and Private Cliver Serquiña. Villamor Visaya, Jr. / PNA – northboundasia.com