Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A soldier dies while saving his comrade in the middle of a firefight

MARAGUSAN, Compostela Valley--For trying to save his wounded comrade in the middle of the enemy's hail of bullets, a soldier paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Sergeant Zaldy Lechoncito was leading a squad of soldiers to check the report of enemy presence in Parasanon village here when they were met with heavy volume of fires from the NPA rebels at around 5:00am today.

He saw that one of his men, Sgt Bonifacio Guerrero, was wounded and grimacing in pain. He could not allow the enemy to kill his soldier right before his eyes.

While the other soldiers provided covering fires, Lechonchito courageously assaulted the enemy positions to extract his dying squadmate.

Directly in front of him, at least 20 rebels kept firing as he moved forward, delivering automatic fires at the enemy.
He was able to carry Guerrero towards the rear but he too, sustained fatal bullet wounds.
The soldiers who came to them found the lifeless body of Guerrero beside Lechonchito who was hanging for his life.
They immediately called for a vehicle to transport the casualties towards a hospital, as the other soldiers engaged the rebels in a running gunbattle.
Lechonchito was declared 'dead on arrival' by attending physicians.
The remains of the two soldiers were transferred to a funeral parlor for an autopsy procedure. 
Lt Col Antonio Florendo, the Commanding Officer of the 66th Infantry Battalion said that he sent another platoon of soldiers to pursue the rebels, resulting in a series of gunbattles which lasted for at least 4 hours.
He said civilian texters have provided some clues about the whereabouts of the rebels.

"They are very helpful in our drive to flush out the remnants of these communist rebels who are now resorting to plain banditry. We will relentlessly pursue these rebels who have evolved to become a potent organized crime group responsible for the burning of construction equipment as well as mining facilities here," said Florendo.

He also said that the death of his soldiers will serve as motivation for the others to serve their country well and emulate their heroism.

"Sgt Lechoncito have shown the finest traditions of Filipino soldiery that everyone in the Army must follow. He will always be remembered," said Florendo.

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