THE Philippine Navy rendered Friday full military honors to two pilots who died in a helicopter crash last Tuesday offshore Zamboanga City, a top military official said.

Rear Admiral Alexander Pama, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM) command chief, said the remains of Lieutenant Tristan Joseph Corpuz and Lieutenant Junior Grade Jayrald Tamayo were flown from Zamboanga City to Manila at 7:05 a.m. Friday aboard a commercial plane.

The remains of Corpuz and Tamayo were brought to the headquarters of the Naval Air Group at Sangley Point in Cavite City, where the two were given full military honors.

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The NFWM has also given full military honors to Corpuz and Tamayo before their remains were airlifted to Manila Friday.

A hero's welcome awaits Tamayo Saturday at the Naval Station Jose Francisco in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Tamayo's interment is scheduled to be held Sunday at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Corpuz's remains will be transferred Monday to Naval Station Jose Francisco and the burial is scheduled on Tuesday.

Corpuz and Tamayo were the pilot and co-pilot, respectively, of the ill-fated Philippine Navy Bolkow PNH411 helicopter that crashed at 11:05 a.m. Tuesday near the Greater and Little Sta. Cruz Islands in Zamboanga City.

Their remains were recovered Thursday near the two islands by the combined Navy and Army search and rescue team.

The remains of Tamayo were recovered around 6:55 a.m. Thursday two nautical miles west of the Greater Sta. Cruz Island. Corpuz's remains, on the other hand, were found at 7:11 a.m. Thursday, 350 yards north of the Greater Sta. Cruz Island.

The helicopter crew, Petty Officer 3 (PO3) Abdon Marteres was rescued few minutes after the helicopter went down Tuesday, together with PO3 Noel Redad and PO3 Rodolfo Pataweg, who were both assigned with the NFWM's CMO.

The victims were documenting the conduct of the small-boat amphibious landing exercise when the helicopter crashed around 1,000 yards north of the Greater Sta. Cruz Island.

Corpuz, who turns 30 next month, is a member of the Philippine Military Academy class of 2002, while Tamayo, who turns 29 this month, is a member of PMA Class 2003. Both have completed their junior billets aboardship before becoming pilots.

Corpuz was one of the pilots of the Naval Air Group based in Sangley Point, Cavite to check out from his billets in the fastest possible time.

In military parlance, a pilot who checks out from one billet signifies his completion of one assignment in a short period of time. (Bong Garcia)