Issue of February 11, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Aid thru Binnadang given to kin of Marawi fallen heroes
by Ofelia C. Empian

BINNADANG -- Grateful families of the fallen Cordilleran soldiers and police officers, who perished during the Marawi siege received fund assistance pooled from various donors locally and internationally through the continuing effort dubbed “Cordilleran Binnadang (bayanihan)” during a simple turnover ceremony last week. -- Ofelia Empian

A total of P458,450.44 was turned over to the nine families of the Cordilleran heroes who perished during the war in Marawi City during a simple ceremony in Baguio on Feb. 6.

The amount came from local and international donors who reached out through the “Cordillera Binnadang,” a program revived by Cordillerans to help people in need.

The effort started in October 2017 and continued until January. 

Each fallen hero’s family and parents received P50,938.93 while the parents of a fallen soldier or police who was not married at the time of his death received the amount in full.

“We are forever grateful to every soldier and police officer, who fought to defend our nation from terrorism in Marawi and to those who gave in this fundraising. To God be the glory,” read the social media post of the group behind the fund raising.

Aurora Serrano, mother of Army Corporal Benito Serrano of Conner, Apayao thanked the group for coming up with the effort.

“This is a big help for us,” she said.

Local real estate magnate Alexander Bangsoy said the effort was a natural response from the various donors who pooled the fund through him and his wife, Annabelle who helped organized the fund drive.

“It was almost the same donors who gave before for the SAF 44,” Bangsoy said.

Recipients of the Cordilleran Binnadang are the families of the late S/Insp. Freddie Solar of Baguio; Army Corporal Benito Serrano; Marine Private 1st Class Gener Tinangag of Barlig, Mountain Province; PO3 Alexis Mangaldan of Bangued, Abra; PO1 Moises Kimayong of Lagawe, Ifugao; Private 1st Class Jethro Estacio of Ifugao and La Union; PO3 Daniel Tegwa of Bauko, Mountain Province; Cpl. Nelson Wailan of Tabuk, Kalinga; and Private 1st Class Froilan Espinosa of Tabuk, Kalinga.

Bangsoy said the program will be revived if the need arises.

In 2015, Bangsoy, a son of Mountain Province, and other donors organized the Cordilleran unity fund drive for the benefit of the families of the fallen Cordilleran members of the Special Action Force 44 who perished in the Mamasapano carnage.

More than P1.2 million was raised for the families of the 14 Cordilleran SAF heroes. This paved way for other fund drives to help others in need.

Bangsoy said he and other good Samaritans provided the needs of the families whose houses were recently burned down in the locality.

He said they helped with construction materials and other needs for the rebuilding of their houses.

“Basta adda didigra, tumulong kami nga tumulong,” he said, adding that various donors, most of them do not want to be named, are always ready to help whenever help is needed.

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