MANILA--The bodies of the three Filipino peacekeepers who died in the January 12 intensity 7 earthquake in Haiti arrived and received another round of honors from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Wednesday morning.
The cadavers of Navy Data Process 3 Pearly Panangui, Army Sergeant Eustacio Bermudez and Air Force Sergeant Janice Arocena were brought to the St. Ignatius Chapel inside Camp Aguinaldo.
“The remains of our peacekeepers arrived at Camp Aguinaldo this morning around 7:30 and we gave them arrival honors at the St. Ignatius Chapel and then we had a series of masses for them,” said AFP public affairs office chief Romeo Brawner.
He said the last mass would be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, which will be followed by necrological services, that is scheduled to be attended by Armed Forces chief Victor Ibrado and other military officials.
Brawner said the three would be posthumously awarded with a Military Merit Medal, a United Nations (UN) Service Medal, and a plaque in recognition of the services they have rendered here in the Philippines and abroad.
The three were among the more than 155 peacekeepers sent by the Philippine government to perform peacekeeper missions in the troubled Haiti.
They were deployed to Haiti in August and were due to return to the Philippines this month.
The three were among the four Filipinos who died in the killer quake in Haiti that has left thousands of people dead. The fourth Filipino who died in the earthquake was Jerome Yap, who works for the UN as a civilian staff.
The bodies of the three soldiers and that of Yap arrived in the country on Tuesday.
After a welcome honors led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the airport, the cadavers of the four were taken to the St. Ignatius Funeral Homes.
Yap’s remains was then transported to his hometown in Pampanga.
Brawner said the soldiers’ families stand to receive benefits and scholarship from the AFP and UN that are due to the soldiers. He could not say how much they will receive, but said this will be “substantial amount." (VR/Sunnex)