MANILA (Apr. 11) — In recognition of their dedication “to serve the Presidency and the Republic far beyond the call of duty,” President Arroyo conferred to the eight victims of the ill-fated presidential chopper that crashed on Tuesday the Presidential Medal of Merit.
The posthumous awards were presented to victims’ families during the necrological services held at Malacanang. The victims were Press Undersecretary Jose Capadocia, Undersecretary Marilou Frostrom of the Presidential Management Staff, senior presidential military aide Brig. Gen. Carlos Clet, PMS Assistant Director Perlita Bandayanon, pilot Major Rolando Sacatani, co-pilot Captain Alvin Alegata, Clet’s aide Quarter Master 3rd Class Demy Reyno, and chopper crewman Sergeant Rohegem Perez.
They were part of President Arroyo’s advance party to Banaue in Ifugao, where she was supposed to visit Wednesday. The team never reached their destination. The Bell 412 helicopter fell down the rugged mountains of Benguet and Ifugao Tuesday afternoon.