City Hall hands cash aid to families of fallen soldiers

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita August 07,2017 - 11:05 PM

Her son has been dead for almost four months now, but 67-year-old Gaudencia Nazareno continues to wait for him to come home.

Gaudencia would sit outside her house in Calape town, Bohol, every Saturday night to await the arrival of her son PO2 Rey Anthony Nazareno, who would come home during his days off.

She knows it will never happen, but Gaudencia could not accept that Anthony was already gone.

He was one of the four government troopers who were killed at the onset of the operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who tried to penetrate Bohol through the town of Inabanga.

Anthony, who belonged to the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), was the only policeman killed in the firefight. The three others belonged to the Philippine Army: 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua Jr., Sgt. John Dexter Duero and Cpl. Meljune Cajaban.

But his grieving mother could not accept what happened to her son.

“I cannot accept it. I continue to wait for him to come home every 10 p.m. on Saturdays because he would be home after every duty. But I know he will not be coming back,” she said, wiping her tears.

The pain of losing a son is eased by the support and assistance they received from the community and local officials.

Among them was the city government of Cebu that gave P500,000 in financial assistance to the kin of each fallen government trooper.

The assistance was meant to express the city’s gratitude to the four government troopers who gave their lives to prevent the ASG from setting up a base in nearby Bohol province.

In a speech, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña explained that their sacrifice benefited Cebu City because it prevented the bandit group from coming here.

“Ako ipakita sa tanang sundalo dinhi (I would like to show to all the soldiers here), if you die for us, we will help you more than the national government will ever help you,” he said before handing the checks on the Plaza Sugbo grounds in front of City Hall after the flag raising ceremony on Monday morning.

The checks were received by Gaudencia and her husband, Dominador, for Anthony; Janette Cajaban, widow of Corporal Cabajan; Angelee Duero, wife of Sergeant Duero; and Gina Saldua, mother of 2nd Lieutenant Saldua.

Speaking in between sobs, Janette thanked the city government for their support.

She said that while no amount of money could compensate the loss of their loved ones, the support and help given by different sectors helped ease the pain.

“While it is difficult to see our children grow up without a father, we strive to continue living normal lives because of your help,” she said.

“It is more comforting to us if we will just think that our loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice not only for the people of Bohol but also for the entire nation,” said Janette, a public school teacher in Bacolod City.

She said she planned to save the P500,000 for the education of her two children aged 3 and six months old.

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TAGS: cash, city, fallen, families, HALL, hands, soldiers

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