Most passengers in Sulu crash new soldiers from 4th Infantry Division

Most of the passengers of the ill-fated Philippine Air Force C-130 plane that crashed in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday, July 4 were new soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) training unit of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.

4ID spokesperson Major Rodolfo Cordero said most of these soldiers were locals from Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.

The 4ID soldiers on the plane, numbering 50 total, were among the 149 recent graduates of a six-month Basic Infantry Course at the 4ID Training Unit in Camp Bahian.

All 149 soldiers were regular replacements and reinforcements for the 11th Army Division, and were all at Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro on Sunday morning, slated to fly to Jolo, Sulu to get to the 11th Army Division headquarters.

“Only 50 (4ID) soldiers were accommodated [on] the C-130 plane. The rest were left behind to wait for the next sortie,” Cordero said.

The plane had come from Manila, and already had Major General Romeo Brawner Jr. and his staff as passengers. Brawner is scheduled to assume command of the 4th Infantry Division on Monday, replacing Major General Andres Centino, who has assumed command of the Philippine Army.

Cordero said they are preparing for the arrival of the soldiers from Sulu and will be giving them full military honors. –