Two more slain Marines laid to rest in Cebu, Bohol

August 23, 2009 CEBU CITY - Two members of the Philippine Marines killed in the recent bloody clash with Abu Sayyaf bandits in Basilan province were laid to rest Sunday in their respective homes in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña personally went to the burials. He also offered assistance to the families of the slain soldiers. Osmeña is battalion commander of the 51st Marine Reserve Battalion of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Private First Class Elfie Igcalinos from Lila town in Bohol left behind a girlfriend and a 5-year old son. Gracie Bacalla said that before Igcalinos left for Basilan, he had constantly reminded her of why he has to be always away from her.

She said that Igcalinos promised her that they will get married next year, right after he finishes his first 3 years of service.

Bacalla worked as a sales lady in a mall in Cebu but said she left her work when she learned about her boyfriend’s tragedy.

Osmeña talked to Bacalla and offered the lady a job in the Cebu City Hall. Osmeña made Bacalla choose if she wants to go back to the mall or work in the city hall. When Bacalla chose the latter, Osmeña then gave his personal number to Bacalla to contact him the soonest about his offer of work.

Osmeña was the one who handed the Philippine flag over to Lucia, mother of Igcalinos.

Lucia admitted that she cannot yet accept the fact that she has lost his eldest son and the bread winner of the family. Lucia recently suffered from a stroke and is currently undergoing a therapy. It was Igcalinos who gave her financial assistance for her treatment.

White balloons

Saturday afternoon, Pfc Redentor Batoctoy was also laid to rest in Dalaguete town in Cebu. The family of Batoctoy had already accepted the fate of their eldest. After the 21-gun salute, the family let go of white balloons representing their acceptance.

The slain Marines’ mother, Irenea said that she did not regret the time when she gave her blessings for his son be part of the Philippine Marines. She said that she will always remember how happy his son was when he got in to be a soldier.

Irenea said that days before they were sent to Basilan, Batoctoy planned to come home to them. She said he wanted to spend a longer time with the family. He reportedly said he already missed them.

Batoctoy’s brother, Carmelo Jr. meanwhile, is set to be a member of the Philippine Army in Samar. He said that the death of his brother will not make him back out from joining the Army. He said that his brother will serve as his inspiration to be the best in serving in the line of duty as his older brother gave his life for the nation.

He also said he has no hatred for the persons who killed his brother..

“Only God knows how you will end up in life, and only God knows what to do to the people who had killed my brother. I’m proud of him. He died for the country,” said Carmelo.

Osmeña had also committed to give assistance to the Batoctoy family.

The Cebu City mayor was also present in Daanbantayan town during the burial of Pfc Lemuel dela Cruz last Saturday.

Dela Cruz, Batoctoy, and Igcalinos were part of the class which Osmeña trained in Cavite last year. (ABS-CBN Central Visayas)

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