DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang and top officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines have visited the wake of slain army officer, 2nd Lt. Miguel Victor Alejo, earlier today at St. Peter Funeral Homes in Panacan, Davao City.
The President and the Governor met with the fallen officer’s parents and fiancé at the wake and offered them their sincere condolences. Each official briefly talked with the mourning family, who are heartbroken over the death of the young officer whose promising life was cut short at the young age of 26.
2nd Lt. Alejo, a junior officer of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army, was killed by the Communist New People’s Army rebels while responding to distress calls of residents in the hinterland village of Lambog, Manay, Davao Oriental last February 1.
The residents, who fled for safety and left behind their homes and livelihoods, have plead for help over the relentless threats and extortion activities of the rebels, which they say have drastically affected their lives. The composite team of soldiers and police officers led by Alejo was on their way to respond, intending to restore law and order, when they were gunned down by the lawless group. Alejo was the only one killed while one of his men was injured during the encounter.
Gov. Dayanghirang said the attack was uncalled for considering that the peace talks and unilateral ceasefire between the Government and the CPP-NPA-NDF are still in effect at the time of the attack.
The said unilateral ceasefire has now been lifted by President Duterte in light of the deaths of several government soldiers in the hands of the rebels.
The Governor also offered his condolences to the family, saying that Alejo’s bravery and heroism reflects the dangers that soldiers face everyday. He also extended financial assistance to the family. He vowed his commitment to support the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police in enforcing law and order and in protecting the people and securing peace in the communities.
Alejo, who was recently engaged to his girlfriend, is described by his family as a bright young man with a full life ahead of him.
To his fellow soldiers and colleagues, Alejo was a well-respected officer, kind, and approachable. “He was very friendly and was always full of life. He was also a good influencer and a leader — the reason why his men say they trusted him with their lives,” said one of his fellow soldier.
Alejo’s body will be laid in his final resting place at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on February 7.
Top AFP Officials who visited the wake with the President were 10th Infantry Division Major General Rafael C. Valencia; Commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, Lt. Gen. Leonardo Guerrero; Major General Harold Cabreros, Acting Commanding General of the Philippine Army; 10th ID Assistant Division Commander Brigadier General Bienvenido Datuin; and 701st Brigade Commander Col. Reuben Basiao. K.L. Deloso/ Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan