I will not abandon you, Duterte tells families of soldiers killed in chopper crash

Published January 19, 2021, 12:40 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has commended the heroism of the soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Bukidnon and vowed to posthumously confer the Order of Lapu-Lapu on the fallen troops.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte

Addressing the nation Monday night, the President said he was saddened by the death of the troops and promised not to abandon their families.

“Let me express my deepest condolences sa mga asawa ninyo. I share your grief. Alam ko kung gaano ang sakripsiyo ng mga sundalo para sa bayan nila. They died a hero, they died heroes,” he said during a televised address Monday night. “We’re giving them one of the highest award sa Presidente which is the Order of Lapu-Lapu,” he added.

Duterte admitted that he wanted to visit the wake of the soldiers but such plan did not push through. “I would have wanted to go there. I thought yesterday nasa isang kampo lang. ‘Yun pala napadala yung mga labi nila sa mga pamilya nila so i decided to forego the trip,” he said.

Before he wrapped up the meeting with some Cabinet members, Duterte offered a moment of silence in honor of the fallen soldiers.

“To their families, I said I share my grief with them. Nakakalungkot ang nangyari. Let’s just pray to God…Let’s pray for those who died in helicopter crash. May they rest in peace,” he said.

“Sa pamilya, my message is hindi ko kayo pababayaan…you will not be abandoned. Alalayan ko kayo,” he added.

A military helicopter crashed at a field in Bukidnon Saturday afternoon, killing all seven people on board.  Among those killed were four members of the Philippine Air Force.

The UH-1 Huey helicopter was ferrying supplies to soldiers when the ill-fated incident occurred. Reports indicated the helicopter engine encountered some problems prior to the crash.