Filipino UN peacekeepers come home from Haiti missionBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines–After serving six months in the Carribean country, the 155-strong Filipino peacekeeping forces commissioned by the United Nations (UN) were welcomed and honored Wednesday morning at the General Headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo.
The 14th Filipino contingent to Haiti, which arrived March 18, was welcomed and awarded by Major General Gregorio Macapagal, the Armed Forces Deputy Chief.
“We have successfully sent and received back contingents for 14 years, and your participation is definitely a part of the undisputable tradition of excellence and humanitarian passion that characterizes
the AFP, both within and outside the country,” military chief Lieutenant General Jessie Dellosa said in his speech delivered by Macapagal.
The AFP is the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“The entire AFP organization gladly welcomes you and we are thankful for your safe homecoming. We congratulate you for characterizing the AFP even in a foreign country.”
The all-Navy contingent, led by Colonel George Fernandez, was responsible in maintaining perimeter security of the force headquarters of United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti; providing administrative and logistics clerical services in the force headquarters; and operating and maintaining vehicles of the UN. They also provided security and protection to VIPs of the UN mission. He was accompanied by 12 officers and 143 enlisted personnel, six of which were women.
Meanwhile, the 15th Filipino contingent was deployed to Haiti on March 16 to replace the previous contingent. It was composed of 155 soldiers led by Marine Colonel Arthur Biyo.
The 14th and 15th contingents are the only two all-Navy contingents deployed by the AFP for the UN peacekeeping missions.
The AFP has been sending its men in Haiti as part of its commitment to international peace and security and the UN peacekeeping missions. It is also sending contingents to Liberia and Golan Heights.