Army’s 1st Infantry Division chief dies while on diving trip

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/02 June) – Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero, commanding general of the Army 1st Tabak Division in Zamboanga del Sur died while on a diving trip in Tukuran town on Sunday afternoon, his superiors said.

Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said Lucero, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class 1983, was unconscious when he was brought up to the surface by fellow divers at around 3 p.m.

Ardo said Lucero was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Mendero Hospital in Pagadian City where his fellow officers rushed him.

Lucero went scuba diving, a favorite pastime among the officers of the Army 1st “Tabak”  Division based in Pulacan, Zamboanga del Sur, on Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero. MindaNews file photo by Froilan Gallardo
Brig. Gen. Daniel Lucero. MindaNews file photo by Froilan Gallardo

In April, he assumed command of the 1st Infantry Division, replacing Maj. Gen. Rainier Cruz who took over the  post of chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) in Davao City.

Speculations are rife as to the cause of  death of Lucero who is among the well-admired officers of the AFP. reported that Lucero’s wife, Connie,  asked for an autopsy to determine the cause of death following reports that the flotation gear of the diving suit worn by Lucero malfunctioned during the dive.

Lucero’s remains were brought to the Fatima Funeral Homes in Pagadian City.

His death  is mourned by other sectors in Mindanao especially those who are working for peace.

“Lucero was an AIM (Asian Institute of Management) fellow, cohort2 of the Mindanao Bridging Leadership Program, very passionate with his work on peace promotion, worked very hard to ensure a clean, orderly, peaceful and honest election in Marawi-Lanao Sur, a very good man and respectable military officer,” said Trel Borja, a teacher of Development Communications in Xavier University.

“What a loss! May he also benefit from his peace efforts by finding his own peaceful rest in the arms of our Maker,” said Borja. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)