Navy chief salutes fallen soldier-A A +A
Sunday, September 15, 2013
VICE ADMIRAL Jose Luis Alano, chief of the Philippine Navy, stood beside the flag-draped casket of Petty Officer 3 Jose Audrey Bañares and saluted.
Alano comforted the wife of the slain Cebuano soldier and handed her an envelope containing a check yesterday morning.
The Navy official arrived at the chapel of the Naval Forces Central headquarters in Lapu-Lapu City at 7 a.m.
Bañares, 39, a native of Tabuelan town, Cebu, was killed during an encounter with MNLF rebels in Zamboanga last Monday dawn. He left behind the woman he married 17 months ago and their two-month-old baby.
“We salute and honor PO3 Jose Audrey Bañares for his devotion and dedication to our country,” Alano told reporters. “We look at him as an inspiration to carry on with what we do.”
Alano, who was scheduled to leave for Zamboanga yesterday afternoon, said Navy officers deployed in the Zamboanga are prepared for combat.
“We make sure that the forces we are providing are of the highest readiness. They are properly trained, equipped and have the necessary logistics to sustain their operation,” he said.
Mass was held at the chapel, where the remains of Bañares lie, during the Navy chief’s visit.
Before the mass, Alano approached Bañares’s wife, Nene, who was holding their baby, expressed condolence and handed her a white envelope.
Alano then went over to the white casket, prayed and gave his fallen comrade a hand salute.
“Pasalamat mi nga wa niya pasagdai. Niari gyud siya personal (We are thankful to him for not neglecting us and for coming here personally),” Nene said of Alano.
She said the check she received was for P150,000.
Chief Petty Officer Tobias Bañares said Alano assured the Philippine Navy will continue to help his younger brother’s family.
Speaking to reporters, Alano said: “The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Navy take care of their own. We ensure that the surviving families are taken care of.”
The slain Navy officer was the youngest in a brood of nine. Two of his brothers are also in the Navy, one is in the Philippine Army and another one is a retired police officer.
Bañares will be buried on Sept. 21 at the Marigondon Cemetery.
Alano said Bañares died with honor. “This is part of what we do. Our sailors and marines are committed to perform our mandate (that is) to go into harm’s way so we can remove the innocent and ordinary bystanders from harm’s way.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 15, 2013.