In commemoration of the four precious lives lost in the Cessna 340A tragedy and honoring the joint efforts of the government and partner agencies following the success of a treacherous mission, a memorial ceremony was held today, February 18, 2024, exactly one year since the ill-fated plane crashed near the crater of Mayon volcano.
A memorial mass, officiated by Rev. Fr. Jeronuls of Capt. Rufino James T. Crisostomo Jr., Joel G. Martin, Simon Chipperfield, and Karthi Santhanam.
“Ipagpatuloy natin ang ating kagandahang puso,” Mayor Carlos “Caloy” Irwin G. Baldo Jr. said in his message, highlighting the values of humanity, volunteerism, and sympathy shown in every phase of the 13-day intensive Search, Rescue, and Retrieval (SRR) operations. The Mayor also expressed his utmost gratitude for the selfless efforts of the responders who have taken the risks and for Energy Development Corporation (EDC)’s swift response in providing daily supplies of basic needs, equipment, and other augmentation since day 1 of operation.
Albay Governor, Hon. Atty. Edcel “Grex” Lagman lauded Mayor Caloy for his strong political will and dedication to execute his duties and responsibilities as the incident commander of the SRR operations, which he considered the most arduous aviation tragedy in the province.
Under EDC’s ‘Binhi’ program, which aims to conserve and mainstream various native Philippine trees, a tree planting activity was carried out with 110 seedlings comprised of eight varieties of EDC’s flagship species planted at the Camalig Philippine Native Tree Site in Brgy. Sua, aimed at developing it into an arboretum purposely as the leading source of seedling production in town.
Said activity holds additional significance as a timeless symbol of the everlasting lives of the victims and an honor to the brave men and women who took part in the SRR efforts, which greatly elevated undying values of resilience, commitment, and camaraderie.
Aforementioned activities were participated in by the personnel from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), PNP, BFP, AFP, PH Navy, PH Army, EDC personnel, LGU-Camalig employees, mountaineers, Wilderness Search and Rescue (WISAR), local guides, MDRRMOs of Guinobatan, Camalig, and Daraga, health professionals, the Magnificent 5, Red Cross, friends from the media, residents of Brgy. Anoling, and other volunteers.
Article by: Mr. Tim L. Florece, PIO