PGMA arrives in Iloilo to condole with families of slain Army officers

PIA Press Release 2008/08/26

PGMA arrives in Iloilo to condole with families of slain Army officers

ILoilo City (26 August) -- The Presidential plane carrying President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her party aboard, touched down the Iloilo International airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo at about 9:40 yesterday morning.

The President passed by the honor guard led by Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) regional Director C/Supt. Isagani Cuevas, Provincial Director S/Supt. Ricardo de la Paz and Lt. Col. David Tan , information officer of the 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division (3ID) Philippine Army.

Other ranking national and local government officials welcoming Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the airport are Department of Justice Secretary and Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) Raul Gonzales Sr., Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr., and Mayor Jerry P. Trenas of the city and province of Iloilo, regional directors of various line government agencies including Air Transportation Office (ATO) manager Alan Java.

The President and party boarded the black Suburban vehicle followed by a convoy of entourage proceeded direct to the residence of the slain Lt. Col. Angelo Benitez in Remonville Subd., Brgy. Balantang, Jaro district in Iloilo City via 20 minutes drive.

Clad in black attire, Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo came all the way from Cebu to express her heartfelt sympathy and to condole with the bereaved family of the slain army official who was treacherously killed in the recent ambush in Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte staged by terrorists Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The 40-year-old Benitez hailed from Naguillan, La Union province but was married to an Ilongga, 38-year-old Maria Helen Antenor-Cruz whom they were blessed with four children.

His remains presently lie at their residence in Jaro district for a couple of weeks wake to allow his relatives from La Union ample chance to see him for the last time.

President Macapagal-Arroyo likewise condoled with the family of slain Marine Corporal Angelo Abeto, another victim in the on-going violence in Mindanao.

A resident of Mandurriao district, Iloilo City, Abeto was already buried last Friday, August 22.

Meanwhile, strict security measures were implemented by the police and military authorities in today's Presidential visit here in Iloilo City. (PNA) - Timeline 2008