Davao City 1st District Rep. Paolo Duterte and ACT CIS Partylist Rep. Eric Yap, together with their businessmen friends, pledged a P5 million donation to the families of military personnel and civilians who perished in the July 4 C-130 crash in Sulu.
Duterte said portion of the amount will also go to the injured victims.
Latest developments on the incident indicated that the death toll rose to 53 while 45 were injured.
“To us, they are heroes and we salute them for their sacrifices. But to their families, they are everything. From the people of Davao City, we would like to extend our condolences to the bereaved families and loved ones of those who died in the incident,” said Duterte, chairman of the House Committee on Accounts.
He added: “We are one with you in prayers and I pray that you shall be blessed with solace and strength to endure the days ahead.”
“Kami sa Benguet ay nakikiramay sa mga pamilya ng naiwan nating sundalo at sibilyan. Nakakalungkot ang sinapit ng ating mga sundalo na gusto lang ay makapagsilbi sa bayan at paigtingin pa ang ating paglaban sa terorismo. Saludo tayo sa kanila (The people of Benguet grieve with the families of the soldiers and civilians. We are saddened by what happened to the soldiers who only wanted to serve their country and strengthen the fight against terrorism. We salute them)” said Yap, who also serves as caretaker of the lone district of Benguet.
The two lawmakers said the donation will be turned over Monday to ranking officials of the AFP.
“Maliit lang na halaga ito kumpara sa sakripisyo na kanilang ginawa at sa serbisyo nila para sa bansa (This is just a small amount compared to the sacrifice they made in serving the country.)” said Yap, also chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations.
According to him, it was Duterte, son of President Duterte, who made the plan to extend to the soldiers’ families their financial assistance.
“Tumawag din ang ilang mga kaibigan namin mula sa business sector na gusto din makipag-Bayanihan kahit sa maliit na paraan. (Some of our friends in the business sector also called and volunteered help in their small way).” Yap disclosed.
According to Duterte their donation is just a way for them to “honor the lives of our State defenders” who died in the tragedy.
“No amount of money can compensate the sacrifice they have done but I hope that this can somehow help them for their immediate needs. I am confident that the National Government will provide whatever support that the victims and their families may need, and to ensure that no similar incident will occur in the future,” Duterte stated.