DAVAO CITY HALL photographer SIMEON CELI captures the city's grief over the mass killing of Army troopers in clash with Moro dissidents in Basilan in this photo of a half-mast Philippine flag at City Hall. In EastMinCom photo below, troopers carry coffin of one of the soldiers upon arrival from Zamboanga City.

CAMP PANACAN, Davao City, Oct. 21 (PNA) – The military under the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) based in this city conferred arrival honors to the fallen members of the Special Forces Battalion in Al Barka, Basilan when their bodies arrived at the Davao City International Airport on board a cargo plane of the Philippine Air Force 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Major Maria Rosa Christina Manuel, executive officer of the 10th Civil-Military Operations Battalion, said six of the 20 soldiers killed in the Basilan encounter hailed from Eastern Mindanao.

She identified the fallen soldiers as 1Lt. Frank Junder Caminos of Cagayan de Oro City; Sgt. Bonifacio Mabalot of Magugpo East, Tagum City, Davao del Norte; Sgt. Ronald Sta. Rita, and Privates First Class Jordan Magno and Erwin Dequito of Pigkawayan, North Cotabato; and Private Garry Colonia of Tupi, South Cotabato.

Lt Col Lyndon V Paniza, Spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division said that soldiers, through their beneficiaries, will receive outright benefits, “The President’s Social Funds will provide cash support amounting to PhP 250,000 for those Killed in Action (KIA) while those who were Wounded in Action (WIA) will receive PhP 100,000 for major injuries and PhP 50,000 for those with minor injuries.”

Paniza added that another outright financial support from the Command Special Financial Assistance (SFA) ranging from PhP100,000 to PhP 200,000 will also be received by the beneficiaries depending on the soldiers’ rank, service record and length of service and an additional six months base pay.

Meanwhile, other expected benefits are SFA from Special Forces Regiment-Army amounting to PhP 10,000; SFA from the Philippine Army amounting to PhP 50,000. Other benefits such as pension, house and lot remuneration, full scholarship of dependents and siblings will also be provided by AFP Educational Benefits System Office (EBSO), as well as the Regular Pension and Insurance Benefits of the soldiers who are members of AFPLAI, MBAI and PAPCIFIC.

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