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AFP identifies remains of 3 more soldiers in Sulu plane crash

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AFP identifies remains of 3 more soldiers in Sulu plane crash
Philippine soldiers stand near wreckage of a Philippine Air Force C-130 transport aircraft, which crashed July 4 and killed 50 people after it overshot the runway, in Jolo town, Sulu province on the southern island of Mindanao on July 5, 2021.
AFP / Nickee Butlangan

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday said it has identified three more remains of its personnel who died in a plane crash in Sulu last month. 

The incident involving a Hercules C-130 resulted in 54 deaths, including of three civlians, while 46 others injured. 

AFP said the three were Cpl. Jerome Balivado and Pvts. Joey Loterte and Kevin Damole of the Philippine Army.

Their identities were confirmed by the SOCO crime laboratory in Zamboanga Peninsula. 

"The AFP, through Western Mindanao Command, has already reached out to the families of the deceased," the military added, "and is now arranging for the immediate transport of the cadavers to their hometowns."

Some 37 bodies from the crash have now been identified, while the process remains for 13 more. 

The armed forces has since retrieved the black box of the plane, which contains the captive voice and flight data recorders.

It was sent to the United States for analysis, which the Philippine Air Force said would take about a month. 

The government has vowed that families would receive benefits and assistance. 

Lawmakers also called for a thorough investigation on the incident. "Grief this expansive calls for clarity and commitment," said Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

The plane was a second-hand aircraft from the US that delivered to the Philippines in January this year. PAF has been using C-130 planes for decades to transport troops and supplies, as well as for humanitarian assistance during disasters.

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ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

PATIKUL PLANE CRASH

PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE

PHILIPPINE ARMY

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