Aquino visits wake for fallen soldiers

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd views the remains of Army 1st Lt. John Kristopher Rama in Norzagaray, Bulacan on Thursday. Rama, a Philippine Military Academy graduate, was killed by a sniper of the Moro National Liberation Front—Misuari faction during the standoff in Barangay Santa Barbara, Zamboanga City last week. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino 3rd views the remains of Army 1st Lt. John Kristopher Rama in Norzagaray, Bulacan on Thursday. Rama, a Philippine Military Academy graduate, was killed by a sniper of the Moro National Liberation Front—Misuari faction during the standoff in Barangay Santa Barbara, Zamboanga City last week.
MALACAÑANG PHOTO

BULACAN: President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday visited three funeral wakes held for soldiers, who were killed in an encounter with Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) fighters in Zamboanga City.

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The President, who was accompanied by Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Abad, first visited the wake of Army officer First Lt. John Kristopher Rama in Barangay Bitungol, Norzagaray and then of Second Lt. Florencio Mikael Esguerra Meneses in Barangay Tibag, Pulilan.

Rama, 30, was killed by sniper fire on September 19, while Menesis, 27, died after wounded during clearing operations in Santa Catalina village on September 21. The President arrived at Rama’s wake at 10:45 a.m. For 20 minutes, he talked to the slain soldier’s wife, Erlinda, where he pledged to provide housing and educational assistance for her and her daughter Elisa Irene.

At 11:30 a.m., Aquino arrived at the Meneses household where he also promised financial assistance to the family of the slain soldier.

The President also visited the wake of Army Scout ranger First Lt. Francis Damian at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Damian, 28, died on September 24, at the Ciudad Zamboanga Hospital, a day after getting wounded in a gun battle. During his visit at Camp Aguinaldo, the President also extended financial and education assistance to the family.

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