TWO days after a 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.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Romeo Brawner told Sun.Star that according to Lope Dagoy, commander of the Philippine peacekeeping force in Haiti, the rescued Filipino woman was identified as Aurora Aguinaldo.

He said authorities have yet to get more details about 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 (UN).

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Brawner said that based on initial medical examination, Catacutan sustained bruises but is now recovering at the headquarters of the Philippine peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

Brawner said the family of the victim was informed about the rescue.

Another peacekeeper, Sergeant Bonifacio Pait, was wounded.

There are 157 officers and enlisted personnel from the AFP and 15 officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) assigned in Haiti, plus an undetermined number of Filipino civilian staff working with the UN.

Brawner said there are no reported Filipino casualties in the earthquake. This was confirmed by PNP sspokesman Chief Superintenden Leonardo Espina, who talked to PNP contingent commander Superintendent Rodolfo Fuentes, who is in Haiti.

"We are happy to note that there is no Filipino casualty on the devastative earthquake. Our peacekeepers are fine," Espina said in a text message to Sun.Star.

Signs of life

As of this posting Friday, 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 Port Au Prince.

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 he got information from our Cuba and plus other sources, and they said 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 said 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.

The three are believed trapped on the second floor of the collapsed hotel while rendering overtime work as clerks when the earthquake struck, Brawner said.

Food shortage

The AFP also confirmed in a television interview that the 10th Philippine peacekeeping contingent in Haiti is facing a possible shortage in food and water supply.

Colonel Gregorio Cayetano, AFP Peacekeeping head, said utilities remain down in Haiti, which was rocked by a magnitude 7.2-earthquake feared to have killed as much as 500,000 people.

"The utilities are down, so we expect the food supply is affected," Cayetano said.

Cayetano is hoping that food and water will reach the contingent soon, as their supplies were badly affected by the strong earthquake.

Meanwhile, Brawner urged Filipinos who have relatives working in Haiti not to worry.

"Huwag kayong mag-alala. Huwag kayong mangamba. Ligtas na po ang mga OFW natin sa Haiti (Don't worry. Our OFWs in Haiti are already safe)," he said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)