ZAMBOANGA – A soldier of the Philippine Army who was killed in an blast caused by an improvised explosive device is ready to go home, said his relatives who attended his wake in Zamboanga City.
Private First Class Jobert Certicio and his companions in the Scout Ranger Battalion were conducting clearing operations in Tipo-tipo, Basilan on Tuesday when an explosion believed to be caused by a landmine planted by members of the Abu Sayyaf Group hit them.
Certicio died on the spot while seven of his colleagues were injured.
His sister-in-law Mary Jane Echaris said the 33-year-old soldier was a good father and provider to his wife and two kids. Although aware that a soldier's life is always in danger, they are still having difficulty accepting his death, particularly his wife.
Echaris said the widow is probably worried about how to raise their two kids alone back in Bacolod City.
Meanwhile, in the same funeral parlor, bodies of three slain soldiers under the Field Artillery Battalion of the Marine Battalion Landing Team 10 arrived Thursday afternoon. They were killed in Barangay Manilop, Indanan town in Sulu.
Reports coming from the Western Mindanao Command said the victims were out acquiring supplies for the troops' consumption when they were waylaid by suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf and fired at.
The suspects escaped after the attack.
WesMinCom spokesperson Major Felimon Tan, Jr. said departure honors for the four slain soldiers in separate military operations in Sulu and Basilan are being prepared before they are brought home to their native provinces.
Operations in Sulu and Basilan continue as the Armed Forces of the Philippines declared early this week an all-out offensive against the Abu Sayyaf Group.