Army assures aid for family of soldier in Northern Samar who drowned en route to rescue mission

TACLOBAN CITY – The Philippine Army assured assistance to the family of a soldier who drowned while on his way to help flood victims in San Isidro, Northern Samar.

The Army mourned the death of Corporal Jerry Palacio of the 43rd Infantry Battalion (IB).

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Corporal Palacio’s family and loved ones during this difficult time, he died trying to save the people of Northern Samar," Major Gen. Camilo Ligayo, commander of the 8th Infantry "Stormtroopers" Division, said.

"Despite the unfortunate incident, the Army will continue to deliver its mandate of performing HADR operations in affected areas to save lives," Ligayo added.

Palacio, assigned to the Happy Valley Patrol Base in Sitio KM7, was travelling to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in Barangay Poblacion on board a motorcycle on Monday, Jan. 9, when he was swept away by raging flood water while crossing a concrete bridge in Sitio KM6.

He was dragged downstream and went missing. The 43rd IB, together with the Philippine National Police and Philippine Coast Guard, launched a joint search, rescue, and retrieval operation for the victim.

The rescue team, together with civilian volunteers, located Palacio’s cadaver two days later on Wednesday, Jan. 11, on Mauo River in Sitio Marasbaras, Barangay Happy Valley, some three kilometers away from where he drowned.