PILAR, Bataan: United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg honored the Filipino Tsoldier who died at the Balikatan exercises during the 74th commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on Saturday.
“This too is a tribute to those who lost their lives here and elsewhere in the Pacific. So we’re here today, first and foremost, not only to thank the courageous soldiers who fought here in Bataan but also to appreciate and honor all those who have and continued to sacrifice for our freedoms,” Goldberg said.
“And I want to mention on this day of heroes, the loss of airman Jover Dumanse during the Balikatan exercise. We send our condolences to his family, to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Filipino government and people. Airman Dumanse died in a tragic accident but he did so in the service of his country and our great alliance,” he added.
Dumanse, an Airman 2nd Class with the 710th Special Operations Wing of the Philippine Air Force, died after an accident during a proficiency parachute jump exercise in Subic.
He landed in the sea instead of the landing zone at the airport, Balikatan Public Affairs Officer Captain Celeste Frank Sayson said. He was declared dead at 5:25 p.m. on Thursday.
Some 8,000 US and Filipino troops are participating in this year’s Balikatan exercises, which aim to improve cooperation and interoperability between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the US envoy also lauded the participation of Japan as an observer in the current Balikatan exercises.
“Our three nations have developed strong and enduring relationships, the Philippines and Japan are among the United States’ most steadfast allies, and we have all continued to work together to strengthen the stability and the security of the entire Pacific region,” Goldberg said.