Edwin Andrews Air Base (EAAB) Multi-Purpose Hall, Zamboanga City
13 April 2016

President Benigno S. Aquino III led a dialogue with the families of the 18 soldiers who perished in the recent clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to condole and extend the administration’s support to the bereaved.

The President was accompanied by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Hernando Iriberri, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Chief Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz, and other AFP officials in answering the concerns and questions of the bereaved families.

“Nandito ako para makipag-dayalogo sa inyo. Yung meron kayong maaasahan ‘no. Lahat ng sugatan saka yung yumao may matatanggap po besides yung benefits na galing sa AFP, meron din pong galing sa President’s Social Fund,” the President said.

The families voiced their concerns on justice for their fallen loved ones, their families’ livelihoods, children’s education, their respective pensions and on the future of Basilan.

The President spoke about learning from the mistakes of the recent clash in Basilan to mitigate the dangers that soldiers face in the region.

The 18 soldiers who perished were part of a clash with the ASG at Tipo-Tipo, Basilan on 9 April 2016 that also left 56 soldiers injured.

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