PAGCOR pays tribute to the families of fallen heroes

Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 10:00 AM

Christmas this year will never be the same for the Savellano family. Only six months ago, they lost Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano in a firefight with the Maute Group in Marawi City.

Savellano, 29, was killed in combat on June 9, 2017 when he led the group of 13 marines which recovered the P79-million worth of cash and checks from the terrorist group.

PAGCOR pays tribute to the families of fallen heroesPAGCOR’s Asst. Vice President for Corporate Communications Carmelita Valdez (4th from left) turns over a Christmas gift pack to the parents of Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano, one of the soldiers who died during the Marawi siege. They are joined by AFP-EBSO Chief Lt. Col. Antonio B. Dulnuan, Jr. (3rd from right) and other AFP officials.

His parents – Mercy and Freddie – still feel the pain of losing a son whose childhood dream was to become a soldier to serve his country. “In spite of the pain, we are consoled by the thought that he lived up to his purpose. He did not die in vain,” Mercy said.

PAGCOR pays tribute to the families of fallen heroesPAGCOR officers led by Asst. Vice President Carmelita Valdez (6th from right) hand over Christmas gift packs to the scholars of AFP-EBSO.

On December 17, 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Educational Benefit Systems Office (EBSO) in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) paid tribute to Mercy and Freddie along with over 300 family members of fallen and wounded soldiers who fought during the Marawi siege.

PAGCOR pays tribute to the families of fallen heroesAaron Savellano, younger brother and beneficiary of the late Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano.

During the festive Christmas celebration, PAGCOR turned over P2 million grant for AFP-EBSO so that the dependents of soldiers who were either killed or wounded in combat will be able to continue with their studies.

Savellano’s 19-year-old brother Aaron, an Electronics Communication student from the University of Sto. Tomas is now one of the recipients of AFP-EBSO’s program. When John Frederick was alive, he helped his brother Aaron with his allowance and other school fees. Now, through the AFP-EBSO, Aaron will continue receiving help by getting an annual stipend of P10,000. “It’s a big help. Kasi kahit nagbibigay ng allowance ang parents ko, nakakatulong yung binibigay ng AFP para sa ibang pangangailangan sa school,” he said.

Mercy meanwhile expressed appreciation to PAGCOR for reaching out to the families of fallen and wounded soldiers like his son, John Frederick. “Maganda ang adhikain ng PAGCOR na tumulong sa mga katulad naming nawalan. May mga institusyon pala na tulad ng PAGCOR na nagmamalasakit sa mga katulad namin,” she shared.

The AFP-EBSO is the Morale and Welfare Office of the AFP founded to provide educational benefits to dependents of soldiers most especially those who were killed or wounded in combat.

Lt Col. Antonio B. Dulnuan, Jr, Chief of AFP- EBSO said they have over 4,000 grantees while over 2,000 have already graduated through the program. “Foremost in the help that we offer are tuition and miscellaneous fees. We also give stipend or book allowances,” he explained.

“Through the programs of AFP-EBSO, we recognize the heroism and sacrifices of our soldiers. These are the things that we can do for their families. Karamihan sa mga dependents na ito ay nawalan ng tatay. Umaasa sila doon. Kung hihinto sila mag-aral dahil namatay ang magulang, wala talagang mangyayari. We impart optimism in the face of a soldier-relative’s death through the program,” he added.

PAGCOR’s Asst. Vice President Carmelita Valdez, who led the turn-over of the P2 million grant and Pamaskong Handog activity for AFP-EBSO, lauded the families of soldiers who courageously offered their lives for the country.

“Anak din po ako ng sundalo at alam ko ang mga sakrispisyo ng ating magigiting na kasundaluhan. Maraming salamat sa inyo dahil naipahiram ninyo sa sambayanang Pilipino ang inyong mga minamahal na asawa at mga anak para mapanatiling ligtas ang ating bayan,” she said.

Go back