US envoy pays tribute to Filipino airman who died during Balikatan
PILAR, BATAAN—United States Ambassador Philip Goldberg on Saturday paid tribute to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) soldier who died during a jump exercise that was part of the ongoing Philippine-US Balikatan exercises.
“I want to mention on this day of heroes, the loss of Airman Jover Dumanse during the Balikatan exercise. We send our condolences to his family, to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Filipino government, and people,” Goldberg said in his speech here on the 74th commemoration of the Day of Valor held at Mt. Samat Shrine.
“Airman Dumanse died in a tragic accident but he did so in the service of his country and our great alliance,” Goldberg added as President Benigno Aquino III, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, AFP chief of staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri, and other ranking military officials listened.
Dumanse, an experienced jumper, died on Thursday after he was dragged by strong winds toward the sea near the Subic Bay International Airport while taking part in a proficiency jump.
Capt. Celeste Frank Sayson, Balikatan spokesperson, described Dumanse’s death as an “accident.” Dumanse was part of the PAF’s 710th Special Action Operations Wing
This year’s annual Balikatan exercises began on April 4 and would end on April 16.
Goldberg said the annual Balikatan exercises were “a symbol of our alliance and the ironclad commitment of the United States to the Philippines.” RC
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