MANILA — Dependents of three soldiers killed in the ongoing clearing operations against Maute group terrorists in Marawi City were awarded scholarships at the Armed Forced of the Philippines (AFP) Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Sept. 15.
According to AFP Public Affairs Office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, Chief-of-Staff, General Eduardo Año himself awarded the scholarship certificates to the dependents of TSg Aldrin Dinglasan PN(M), Pfc Jobert Hollero PA, and SSg Larry Lopez PA, all died while fighting the Maute-ISIS terrorist group in Marawi City.
As of this posting, around 149 soldiers and police officers have been killed in action since fighting in Marawi City started last May 23.
All three children of Dinglasan as well as the two dependents of Lopez will receive monthly tuition and stipend grants to help them finish their studies until college.
Arevalo said the scholarship falls under Republic Act 6963 which is being implemented by the AFP Educational Benefit System Office (AFPEBSO).
The act grants special financial assistance and benefits to families or beneficiaries of uniformed men and women who were either killed or permanently incapacitated while in the performance of duty.
Aside from one of Dinglasan’s children who is now a 4th-year college student, all dependents are either in grade school or in kindergarten.
He added that Holero’s newborn baby will also be assured of monthly educational assistance once he comes of age.
The AFPEBSO is one of the military’s morale and welfare arm. It has been providing educational assistance to qualified dependents of military personnel since its activation in 2000.
It caters particularly to the disadvantaged orphans whose parents have died or were incapacitated in combat.
Lt. Col. Antonio B. Dulnuan, Jr., currently heads the office. At present, the AFP through EBSO is supporting 3,961 grantees nationwide. These are the beneficiaries of 285 programs consisting of law mandated programs and those by virtue of partnerships with educational, government, socio-civic, and financial institutions.
“It is one of the AFP’s missions through the AFPEBSO to support the dependents and beneficiaries of our soldiers. Through our program of ‘Leaving No Soldier’s Orphan Behind, we commit ourselves to ensure a brighter future for the families left behind by our soldiers who sacrificed their lives to attain just and lasting peace for our country.”
“On behalf of the whole Armed Forces of the Philippines, I thank all our partner institutions and stakeholders for their contributions to the academic success of our scholars. The achievements of our beneficiaries bring about pride and fulfillment not only for the AFP but to its partners as they contribute to the welfare improvement of our soldiers’ families.”
-Lt. Col. Antonio B. Dulnuan, Jr.
credit: Philip Nepumuceno, PNA