Pfc. Christopher dela Cruz' metal casket is loaded Tuesday to a military aircraft that transported it to Manila. // Image by 3rd MBde


The remains of the soldier who died during the brief ambush encounter in Brooke’s Point on Monday were airlifted to Manila Tuesday afternoon.

Pfc. Christopher Dela Cruz, a member of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-4 (MBLT-4) was wounded during an encounter with the rebels but later died while undergoing treatment.

Lt. Col. Stephen Penetrante, spokesperson of the Western Command (WESCOM), confirmed the death of Dela Cruz to Palawan News Tuesday and the transfer of his remains.

Government troops salute Pfc. Christopher dela Cruz at the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa City before his remains are flown to the Philippine Marines headquarters in Manila. // Image by 3rd MBde

Penetrante, on behalf of WESCOM, expressed sympathy to the family of the fallen soldier.

Dela Cruz was reportedly wounded after a 15-minute firefight around 1:40 p.m. at Sitio Bayud, Barangay Aribungos, Brooke’s Point.

Lt. Col. Prisco Tabo Jr., commanding officer of MBLT-4, said in a statement on Monday that soldiers were conducting community support programs (CSP) in the area when the encounter happened.

“While conducting continuous community support programs in different barangays in the South, the CSP team confirmed the presence of NPA rebels who was said to be harboring in the forested parts of barangay Aribungos,” he said.

The military has launched a pursuit operation against the rebels.

The encounter followed a similar incident last July 13 in Barangay Abongan, Taytay where one soldier died and three others were wounded. In the same area, the rebel also ambushed the Dumaran police officer and his driver.