Fresh batch of PH peacekeepers off to Haiti
MANILA, Philippines – Continuing its commitment to the United Nations and its peacekeeping operations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, through the Philippine Navy, dispatched its fresh batch of troops to Haiti Monday.
It would be the 18th Philippine Contingent to Haiti serving as UN Peacekeepers since 2004.
Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala said that the new batch of 157 men, 12 officers and 145 enlisted personnel, would be under the command of Commander Aldrin Doctor.
Doctor and his men would replace the 17th Philippine Contingent to Haiti which Navy Captain Luzviminda Camacho, the first female contingent commander that was sent to Haiti.
Composed of 12 officers and 143 enlisted personnel, the 17th PCH is expected to arrive on the Philippines on September 25 after their tour of duty began in October 2013.
General Gregorio Pio Catapang, AFP Chief of Staff, told the troops during the send-off ceremony in Villamor Airbase that they must “maintain the standards” of Filipino Peacekeepers.
“They have to bring honor and pride to the country,” Catapang said. “I told them that it would be difficult, but they are prepared for this assignment, physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.”
Zagala said the new PCH would provide security detail for very important persons, administrative and logistical services, as well as conduct perimeter security to the Force Headquarters of the UN Mission in Haiti.
Haiti has been suffering armed struggles between authorities and armed gangs and the 2010 earthquake that nearly levelled Port-au-Prince.
Catapang said the new Peacekeepers in Haiti have to bring with them the collective pride of Filipinos who they would represent once they arrive on the Carribean nation aboard a UN-chartered plane.
“Filipinos don’t want to be ashamed, and the soldiers are source of national pride,” Catapang said. “Soldiers are always our source of pride especially when thy are stationed abroad.”
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