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Ashes of soldier believed to succumb to COVID arrives

The cremated remains of the Davaoeño soldier arrived on board a C-295 aircraft at the Tactical Operation Wing (TOW) EastMin Ramp, Davao Air Station in Sasa on Holy Thursday.

The urn containing the ashes of 2Lt. Vince Magbanua was carried by his twin, 2Lt Vico Magbanua, from Manila and turned over to their parents, who were waiting at the flight ramp.

A simple religious blessing was officiated by Lt. Peter Esarza, district chaplain of Coast Guard District-Southern Mindanao. Finally, the men and women of TOW, led by Wing Commander, Col. Dennis Estrella, gave their final salute to the fallen soldier

Also, the physical distancing protocols and other disinfection procedures were strictly implemented all throughout the conduct of the activity led by Lt Col Florante Baterina, the Group Commander of Tactical Operation Group (TOG) 11.

Vince, a member of the Philippine Army, hailed from Buhangin, Davao City and was a member of PMA ‘Alab – Tala Class of 2018. He was suspected to have died from COVID-19, but the test results have not yet arrived.

He was on duty during Luzon’s Enhanced Community Quarantine.

He was a platoon leader/executive officer of the Weapons Company, Headquarters Service Battalion, 48th Infantry Battalion, 7th Infantry Division based in Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan.

“We salute 2Lt Vince Magbanua for his dedication to the service and his courage to bring government relief to those affected by the Enhanced Community Quarantine despite the inherent risks of this task,” his brother said.

Vico said that Vince’s favorite line to his family and fellow soldiers was “Stay alive! I love you all.”

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