By Mike Crismundo
CAMP BANCASI, Butuan City – The Army’s Northeastern and Northern Mindanao Fourth Infantry Division (4th ID) honored a fallen hero in Cpl. Premark Vallecer, who paid the ultimate sacrifice during an encounter with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Danag, Patikul, Sulu last April 17.
The remains of Vallecer arrived at the 4th ID headquarters in Camp Edilberto Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro city on Monday, April 27, before they were to be transported and buried at the “Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery)” in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.
Vallecer was assigned with the 21st Infantry Battalion of the Army’s 11th Infantry Division, and was one of 11 soldiers who were killed in an encounter with ASG bandits that lasted for an hour in the hinterlands of Sitio Lubong, Barangay Danag in Patikul, Sulu.
“Our young brave hero (Cpl. Vallecer) was a native of Kibawe, Bukidnon and was an eldest son, He gave service to the Filipino people in Southern Mindanao area particularly in Patikul, Sulu,” said Lt. Col. Xerxes A. Trinidad, chief of Public Affairs Office (PAO) of the 4th ID .
Mauro Vallecer, the slain hero’s father, expressed his gratitude to his son’s colleagues.
“Dako among pasalamat sa mga sundalo sa 4ID kay wala jud mi nila pasagdi. Gikan sa among balay paingun sa airport ila jud ming giatiman bisan ug dili sa 4ID na-assign akong anak.” (We are thankful to the soldiers of 4ID for taking care of us and for facilitating our safe travel from our home going to the airport. We truly appreciate their efforts considering that our son was not from the said division),” he said.
“We agreed to let his remains be buried in the Heroes’ Cemetery even though it will be hard for the family to visit him because it was his (Premark) wish even before he entered the military service,” Mauro underscored.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Franco Nemesio M. Gacal, commanding general of the 4th ID expressed his sincerest condolences to the bereaved family of Vallecer, who he recognized as “a hero for his selfless service to God, country, and the Filipino people”.
“The Diamond troopers mourn the loss of a young brother, a noble soldier, whose actions in the field serve as an inspiration to all of us. In a simple but meaningful way, we offer our final salute and honor his deeds,” said Gacal, in a statement sent to The Manila Bulletin on Tuesday.