June 20, 2024

Two soldiers were struck to death by lightning and four others were injured while   conducting security operation at the boundary of Western Uma, Lubuagan and Balatoc, Pasil in Kalinga.

The soldiers who perished were identified as Cpl. Andrew Five Monterubio of Gamu, Isabela and Pvt. Inmongog Aronchay of Sadanga, Mountain Province. They belonged to the 54th Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army. 

Injured were Sgt. Dennis Bananao of Tanudan, Pvt. Abegil Awingan of Pinukpuk and Pvt. Riel Angya of Pasil, both in Kalinga; and Pvt. Melvin Danggalan of Paracelis, Mountain Province. 

The soldiers were immediately given medical treatment at the Kalinga District Hospital after being struck by lightning while conducting a security operation in the area on May 12.

“This unfortunate event serves as a reminder of our military personnel’s risks and dangers, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring their safety and well-being,” Lubuagan Mayor Joel Tagoatao said in a statement.

The 5th Infantry Division based in Gamu, Isabela lauded Tagoatao and his municipal personnel in their immediate response to transport the injured soldiers to the hospital.  

“We urge the public to take precautionary measures during thunderstorms and to follow the guidelines provided by the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to prevent accidents and ensure everyone’s safety,” Tagoatao said.

Kalinga Gov. James Edduba also expressed sympathy to the soldiers’ loved ones over their unfortunate deaths while serving the province.

“Their unwavering commitment to safeguarding our communities will always serve as an inspiration for us all,” Edduba said in a statement.

Army Commanding General Lt./Gen. Roy Galido said they are now facilitating the immediate processing of the benefits of the bereaved families of the soldiers who perished.

Galido said the families already received the death benefits while the pension of the soldiers will be received next month. – Ofelia C. Empian