A Christian religious organization on Friday distributed cheques of P50,000 to the families of each of the 20 Visayan soldiers who were killed in action in Marawi City.
International televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano of the popular religious program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), sent his donations through his minister, Danny Navales who met with the grieving families at the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Central Command in Cebu City.
In a message, Navales said Soriano wanted to express his sympathy to the families of the slain troopers who they consider as modern-day heroes.
“Masakit mawalan ng mahal sa buhay. Gusto namin iparamdam sa kanila ang aming pakikiisa. Sana pahilumin ng Panginoon ang sakit na kanilang nararamdaman. (It’s painful to lose a loved one. We want them to feel that we are one with them. May the Lord heal whatever pain they feel),” he said.
“Buong giting nilang pinagtangol ang bayan hanggang sa katapusan ng kanilang buhay. Kami po ay saludo sa inyo. Anomang tulong na ibinigay namin sa inyo ay maliit na token lamang ng aming pakikiramay (You courageously defended our country even at the point of offering your lives. We salute you. Whatever aid we give you is nothing but a small token of sympathy),” Navales added.
Soriano’s group, known as the Members Church of God International (MCGI), also earlier gave P6 million in financial aid to the AFP and another P2 million to the Philippine National Police (PNP)
Major General Paul Atal, commander of the Central Command, was grateful to Soriano’s group for thinking about the soldiers’ plight.
“We have generous people who are willing to help. They emphasized the importance of the soldiers to attain peace and development,” Atal said in an interview.
Although the clash between the soldiers and terrorists in Marawi is over, Atal said government authorities do not want to be complacent.
“We should not relax. As commander of the Centcom, I’m reminding our troops to expect the worst-case scenario especially that the Visayas is near Mindanao,” he said.
“Our priority is peace. We have to ensure that peace should be given utmost priority. Without peace, there is no development,” Atal added.