US gov’t extends medical aid to C-130 crash victims

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 06 July) — The United States government provided assistance during the medical evacuation of soldiers who sustained serious injuries when a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane crashed in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday, City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said Monday.

Filipino soldiers give a warm welcome to a US trooper minutes before the military exercise in Carmen, North Cotabato was formally opened Monday, July 26.
MindaNews file photo by GENE BOYD R. LUMAWAG

Responding to a request from Western Mindanao Command chief LGen Corleto Vinluan, the US Emergency Medical Services Team led by Abdel Canti assisted Philippine military doctors in the transfer and treatment of the crash victims.

Aside from medical supplies, Davao City also sent on Monday six surgeons and specialists – Dr. James David, Dr. Kent Antolin, Dr. Ali Pendaliday, Dr. Jikko Superioridad, Dr. Kalvin Estañero, Dr. Marvie Aguro – and Aljimar Kahal, a nurse.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte offered the assistance in view of the fact that Zamboanga City’s medical sector was having its hands full with COVID-19 cases.

Early on Monday, Scene of the Crime Operatives said DNA tests were needed to identify the charred remains of the victims at different funeral parlors in the city.

‘Heartbroken”

US soldiers who were deployed in Zamboanga City and Sulu for months shared their sentiments on the crash and their experiences with their Filipino counterparts.

“I have many fond memories while working in Jolo from 2007-2012 with the US military and working along-side the Philippine military. The security on the island was a concern from Abu Sayyaf, but there were still so many people who were working to make a better life for the Tausug people. I continue to see so much potential in Jolo and look forward to returning someday to vacation and enjoy the beauty of the land and the people again,” Lt. Col. Tyler Wilson, then a civil-military operations officer of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines.

“I know its 4th of July, but I feel so heartbroken over the C-130 crash in Sulu, Philippines. What a terrible way to go out. The fact I’ve landed there, jumped and shared that aircraft with my Filipino brothers and sisters makes it worse. Never take life for granted, people,” Brian Adams said.

“My condolences to the families and the faithful of the soldiers and citizens who died yesterday after their C-130 crashed in Patikul. I fondly remember the warm welcome and protection of the Philippine military during the medical mission,” Peter Du Pont said.

US and Filipino troops have staged joint military exercises in the country under the Visiting Forces Agreement.

During their stay, the US military built, among others the birthing clinic at the Zamboanga City Medical Center which was used for a few days as the treatment and quarantine area of the first COVID-19 patients in the city. (Frencie L.Carreon/MindaNews)

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