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Bol-anon Soldier Dies in Plane Crash in Davao
« on: August 31, 2008, 10:38:20 PM »
By Sunday Post

      A Boholano was confirmed to have been among the fatalities in the C-130 Hercules cargo plane crash in Davao Gulf Monday night last week.

      The victim was technical Sergeant Constancio Enrique Lobregas, a native of Poblacion, San Miguel.

      He was among the crew of the C-130 that carried the 43rd Infantry Battalion from Bohol to Lanao del Norte.

      He stayed with the plane that headed Iloilo to get some Presidential guards, but  crashed on the seawaters off Samal Island.

      Lobregas’ Boholano roots was confirmed by 220 airlift wing Col. Rolando Hautea Jr. and San Miguel Mayor Claudio Bonior.

      Lobregas had served the Philippine Airforce for 21 years as flight engineer.

      The search and rescue operation continues to find the bodies of the pilot, the co-pilot and seven other crew.

      As reported in Cebu papers, the United States had sent a ship to help in the search and retrieval operation for the ill-fated C-130 cargo plane.

      As he welcomed the development, Capt. Rosauro Arnel Gonzales, commander of Task Force C-130 Hercules, said the survey ship of the US troops would be of big help in confirming the exact location of the crash site estimated at about 2.5 kilometers from barangay Bucana, Davao City.

      Gonzales said they could only say that what they saw was just the suspected crash site.

      The Air Force was able to borrow an echo-sounder on Friday from “San Andres Fishing, a fishing company based in General Santos City, to help in retrieval operations”, the Cebu papers reported.

      All the search and rescue teams from the task force could only do as of Friday was recover metal fragments, human body parts, tattered fabric and documents from the ill-fated aircraft that carried 11 passengers including two pilots.

      Gonzales said they exerted their best effort but the lack of sophisticated equipment has been hampering retrieval operations.

      He is also calling on any organization that can lend them a side (-scan) sonar that could help a lot in the retrieval operations.

      Investigators, on the other hand, already accepted that no one on board the cargo plane survived the crash, as reported in Cebu papers.

      Maj. Armand Rico, spokesman of the military’s Eastern Mindanao command based in Davao City, said there were actually 11 people on board the C-130, in correction to previous report that said there were nine.

      The two other persons were from the Army’s Scout Rangers, identified as Cpl. Bernie Sabangan and Master Sgt. Remegio Lebres.

      They were among the 80 scout rangers the plane picked up from Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija and brought to Davao City.

      They remained in the plane until the trip to Iloilo City to pick up members of the Presidential Security Group before heading to Manila.

      Their mission was to look after the Scout Rangers’ radio equipment on the return trip to Manila, according to Air Force operations chief and crash investigator Col. Roy Deveraturda. (with reports from Sen Guingguing)

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