Skip to main content

Military Rescues 17 Leyte Workers

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City — The 19th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army (PA)’s 8th Infantry Division (ID) has rescued 17 workers and retrieved six dead bodies from a landslide site at the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) geothermal complex in Sitio Upper Mahi-ao, Brgy Lim-ao, Kananga Leyte.

The rescue and recovery operations were conducted by 19th IB members immediately after the landslide occurred and until last Monday.

According to Lt .Col. Joel Alejandro S Nacnac, Commanding Officer of 19th IB, the rescuers were optimistic that there are still survivors, even on the fourth day of retrieval operations.

“We will continue to secure the area and aid other rescuers in retrieval operations. We hope that there are workers still left alive from this unfortunate incident,” Nacnac said.

Nacnac said it was his men participating in a security drill with EDC workers who first responded to the incident at around 9:50 a.m. last Friday, March 1.

“A platoon of soldiers led by Lt. Amin Macalintangue heard an extremely loud sound prompting them to quickly scour the area located at the vicinity of the EDC,” Nacnac shared.

“I highly commend the troops of the 19th Infantry Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Joel Alejandro S. Nacnac for their invaluable efforts in saving 17 workers of the First Balfour Corporation from a landslide at the EDC complex in Kananga, Leyte. Their dauntless efforts saved the lives of these workers,” said 8ID commander Maj.Gen Gerardo T. Layug.

“Rest assured that the 8ID troops will continue to perform search and rescue operations that may be caused by natural or man-made disasters in the region,” added Layug who also extended his gratitude to members of the 19thIB who, he said, risked their lives in saving others during his visit last Monday at the Headquarters of 19IB in Kananga, Leyte.

As of press time, the 19thIB accounted for 17 survivors from the incident, 10 of which were immediately brought to the hospital the same day when the incident occurred.

On the other hand, the death toll has now been raised to six, leaving at least nine more missing.

The Department of Energy (DoE) has already suspended the operations of the geothermal plant of the Lopez-led EDC in Leyte.

However, the EDC, in a statement, clarified that the suspension ordered by the DoE ordered covered only Pad403, the section where the landslide occurred, and not the entire facility.
Phoebe Jen Indino | Manila Bulletin | March 6, 2013 | Article Link


More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.

According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.

Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…