AFP identifies 19 of 50 soldiers killed in Sulu C-130 crash
MANILA, Philippines — Nineteen out of 50 soldiers who perished in Sunday’s C-130 plane crash in Sulu have been identified, Army spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said Wednesday.
Out of the 19, nine were from the Philippine Army, eight were from the Philippine Air Force, and two were from technical service.
Earlier, Armed Forces chief Cirilito Sobejana said in an interview on GMA Network’s “Unang Balita” that 16 of the 50 passengers of the ill-fated military plane have already been identified.
“Sixteen na po yung nakilala out of the number of passengers who perished dun sa crash,” he said.
(Sixteen have been identified out of the number of passengers who perished in the crash.)
Sobejana also said two of those who have been identified have been airlifted to Clark, Pampanga while two others were transported by land since their families reside in Mindanao.
They were Capt. Nigello Emetrio and TSgt. Mark Anthony Agana whose remains were flown to Clark Air Base from Zamboanga City via a NC212i transport aircraft on Tuesday afternoon.
The military earlier said it was having a hard time identifying the charred remains.
According to Sobejana, the military used DNA testing and dental records to identify the burnt cadavers which were already beyond recognition.
The AFP chief said burn experts were sent in from Davao while the Philippine National Police Scene of Crime Operation (SOCO) specialists also came to help in the identification of the cadavers.
Once identified, the bodies will be brought to their respective hometowns to their final resting place, Zagala further said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the survivors were being treated at various hospitals.
The ill-fated Philippine Air Force C-130 plane was carrying 96 military personnel, mostly new Army recruits being deployed for combat against terrorism.
The plane crashed as it was landing in Patikul, a town in the province that has become an Abu Sayyaf stronghold. All those on board had already been accounted for.
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