By Ivy Tejano
DAVAO CITY – The cremated remains of a young army officer, who passed away in Bulacan due to suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, arrived here Friday afternoon.
The remains of Second Lieutenant Vince Magbanua was flown here onboard a Philippine Air Force C-295 aircraft, which arrived at the Tactical Operations Wing (TOW), Eastern Mindanao Ramp, Davao Air Station.
Magbanua’s twin brother Army 2nd Lt. Vico Magbanua took the remains to Davao City from Metro Manila. He turned over the urn to their parents who waited for them at the military flight ramp.
Lt. Peter Esarza, district chaplain of the Coast Guard District Southern Mindanao, led a simple religious blessing for the army officer, before a final salute was rendered by members of the TOW Eastern Mindanao led by their commander Colonel Dennis Estrella.
Tactical Operations Group (TOG) commander Lt. Colonel Florante Baterina said that physical distancing protocols and other disinfection procedures were strictly implemented throughout the conduct of the activity.
Magbanua hails from Davao City. He was a member of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 2018 and a platoon leader and executive officer of the Weapons Company under the 48th Infantry Battalion, of the Seventh Infantry Division based in Bulacan.
Magbanua was lauded for his dedication to the service, and his courage to bring government relief to those severely affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) despite the inherent risks of the task.