The Philippine Air Force (PAF) command held a full military honors to 4 airmen who died in a chopper crashed in Basilan.
While the remains of a fourth soldier was turned over to his family in Zamboanga City.
On Thursday, Air Force personnel received the flag-draped caskets of the 3 fallen soldiers at Fernando Airbase in Batangas and Clark Airbase in Pampanga.
Selected unit commanders and senior officers pay their final salute to the Pilot-in-command Major Jessie Miller, his co-pilot 1st Lt. Mack-AR A Ferrer and crew members Staff Sgt. Miguel I Bañas Jr. and Airman 2nd Class Benedicto B Leal Jr.
Philippine Air Force Commanding General Lt. General Allen T. Paredes said in his statement “We are in greatly saddened with the loss of our four gallant airmen.”
“We, the women and men of the entire Air Force extends its greatest sympathies and condolences to the bereaved families,”
“We make sure that the families of each brave souls will be giving necessary assistance in honor of their service to the country,” Paredes added.
Meanwhile, all S-76A Sikorsky aircraft have been grounded prior to the inspection and investigation by a special Air Force unit to probe the incident.
The fallen crew was on a medical evacuation (MedEvac) mission in Basilan to transport wounded soldiers in the Augugst 24 suicide bombings in Jolo to Zamboanga City when their Sikorsky helicopter crashed near a suburb Barangay.