MANILA -- Two days after the devastative quake hit the poor island-nation of
Haiti, the military confirmed on Friday that a Filipino woman has been
rescued from a collapsed supermarket.
Lieutenant Colonel Romeo Brawner, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines (AFP) told Sun.Star that Lieutenant Colonel Lope
Dagoy, commander of the Philippine peacekeeping force in Haiti, identified the rescued Filipino woman as Aurora Aguinaldo.
He added that authorities have yet to check Aguinaldo's background, the
second Filipino to be rescued alive after fellow Filipino peacekeepers
earlier recovered Army Corporal David Catacutan from the Montana
Hotel, which was being utilized by the United Nations.
Another peacekeeper, Sergeant Bonifacio Pait, was wounded.
As of this posting, the military said the three trapped Filipino
peacekeepers -- Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez, Air Force Sergeant
Janice Arocena and Navy Petty Officer 3 Pearlie Panagui, were not yet
recovered from the collapsed five-storey Christopher Hotel in capital
However, Brawner said sounds of tapping and crying voices have been
heard by Filipino peacekeepers involved in search and rescue
operations at UN Stabilization Mission headquarters at the said hotel.
Brawner said he spoke with Colonel Gregory Cayetano, commander of the
AFP’s Peacekeeping Operations Center based in Tarlac, who got the
information on proof of life from the Philippine consulate.
“He (Cayetano) said that there is proof of life in the UN building that collapsed,” said Brawner.
"Naniniwala tayo na buhay pa rin ang tatlo nating peacekeepers (We believe that the three peacekeepers are still alive)," the military spokesman added.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are 462 Filipinos in Haiti — 290 are civilians, while 172 are military and police peacekeepers.
The department added that these Filipinos are working in the garments,telecommunication and power sectors in the country, mostly in middle and upper management levels. There are also Filipino nuns and priests in Haiti. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)