DATU ODIN SINSUAT, Maguindanao (MindaNews/19 August) — The parents of a soldier who was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to prosecute the war on drugs until the problem is solved.
“Don’t waste the sacrifice of our son, Mr. President. Please continue and win this battle, your success is a means of justice to the death of our beloved son and the future generation,” Erna Duran, 49, mother of Pfc Jay Pee Duran, asked Duterte in tears when the President visited her son’s wake on Thursday.
Pfc Duran was killed in a raid against drug suspects in Barangay Nabalawag, Midsayap, North Cotabato at dawn on Sunday.
His father Jovy, a member of Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit in their hometown Upi, Maguindanao said he is proud of his son who showed bravery in action.
The soldier left behind a two-year old son and wife Honey Mafhil, a graduating student.
She said that as a soldier’s wife she had prepared herself for this kind of situation.
Another widow, Shenna Lim-Miravalles, wife of slain Corporal Josel Miravalles recounted her last moments with her husband.
“My last talk with him was on Saturday night shortly before he left for the anti-drug mission the next few hours, but what really saddens me is the longing of celebrating his 30th birthday on August 29”, Sheena told MindaNews
The corporal was a decorated member of the 6th Infantry Division, according to divisionn commander Major General Edmundo Pangilinan.
In 2010 he survived severe head and body injuries in a landmine explosion while his group was on a military operation against communist guerrillas in Makilala, North Cotabato.
On Thursday, Duterte visited the wake of the two soldiers to honor their gallantry and personally handed posthumous awards and cash assistance to the family inside the 6ID camp chapel.
Before visiting the wake, he spent a few minutes with eight soldiers of the Division Recon Company who were wounded during the same operation against the group of Commander Mabrook Masgal, who is said to be leading a group involved in the illegal drug trade.
Duterte said he is expecting casualties on the government side given the magnitude of the drug problem.
He said the government will allocate P5 billion this year to upgrade military armaments and other personal needs of soldiers, aside from the promise to increase the salary of soldiers before tehe year ends.
“You will have the standard firepower and assets, the best that we can be proud of the coming days,” he said.
Duterte also assured troops, “You will be proud to die fighting for the country in the battlefield because under my administration, you will be using uncorrupted government resources and practices, because I will not allow it to happen under my watch”.
The Office of the President gave a P100,000 burial assistance to the families of the slain soldiers and P10,000 each to the wounded ones.
“His death is not wasted. We feel the determination of our President to win the war on drugs. For this we can accept his loss and move on,” Pfc Duran’s mother said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)