Why are there Filipino peacekeepers in Haiti?
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Intensity 7.0 quake struck Haiti
THE latest news is that an intensity 7.0 earthquake struck the nation of Haiti January 12, 2010- causing catastrophic damage inside and around the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The shocking quake toppled down and wrecked infrastructures, buildings and buried thousands of people amidst the debris and rubbles. It is estimated that this killer quake which is the strongest in about 200 years of the Caribbean islands history killed 100,000 people more or less
Location, officials, form of government, population, language, problems
Haiti is located in the Caribbean- composing 1/3 of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean sea and the North Atlantic Ocean- west of the Dominican Republic. It capital is Port-au-Prince. This island nation is headed by its chief of state President Rene Preval and prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive, its head of State. Its form of government is republican. It has a population of 9,035,536 people- composed of 95.09% black and 5% mulatto and white. Its inhabitants speak haitian creole and French as national language. Their main problems are extreme poverty and HIV-AIDS epidemic.
Soldier rescued from the rubbles
Four members of the 10th Filipino peacekeeping contingent force composed of 155 soldiers, 2 military observers and 15 policemen- headed by Lt. Col. Lope Dagoy as Commanding Officer- who were dispatched to Haiti last August- were among the quake victims.
Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner- AFP spokesperson said that Army Cpl. David Catacutan was rescued on January 13 a day after the quake struck from the collapsed Montana Hotel which is being used by the UN workers in Port-au-Prince.
Members of Philippine peaekeeping force, including 4 trapped peacekeepers were all accounted
The 3 other Filipino peacekeepers who were trapped in the UN Stabilization Mission Headquarters were Army Sgt. Eustacio Bermudez, Airforce Sgt.Janice Arocena and Navy Petty Officer 3 Pearlie Panangui.
After his rescue, Catacutan was reported to immediately buckle down to work helping unearth trapped victims.to safety. However- first secretary and press officer of the Philippine mission to the UN- Elmer Cato said that members of the Philippine peacekeeping force- including the 4 trapped peacekeepers- have all been accounted for.
447 Filipino civilian workers
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs reported that- aside from the Filipino military peacekeepers stationed in Haiti- there are 447 Filipino civilians working in Haiti: missionaries, garment workers and those employed in the power and telecommunication companies.
17 countries formed the UN Peacekeeping Force in Haiti
Nations who have their respective peacekeeping force based in Haiti before the calamity are Brazil, Jordan, China, Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Nepal, Paraguay, Peru, So. Korea, the United States. Uraguay, including the Philippines. These peacekeeping forces together formed the United Nations Peacekeeping Force with a combined total of 7,060 soldiers and 2,091 policemen. It is reported that the UN Peacekeeping Force in Haiti suffered a total casualty of 11 due to the aforecited quake.
Ratrionale for sending peacekeeping forces
Why did the Philippines and so with the other countries send peacekeeping forces to Haiti and other war-torn countries with chaotic and unstable governments? To help Haiti from plunging into chaos in answer to its request. The Philippine government is committed to the UN to help preserve peace and order in all member nations when needed. The Philippines first deployed peacekeeping contingent to Haiti in 2005- since then more than 1,500 Filipino troop members have served as members of the force headquarters, security unit of the MINUSTAH (UN Stabilization Mission).
Dead peacekeepers brought home and accorded full military honors
UPDATE: 3 Filipino members of the 10th Filipino Contingent Peacekeeping Force and a UN Filipino civilian staffer JEROME YAP working in Haiti were less fortunate. Their dead bodies were pulled out from the rubbles under Hotel Christopher and will be enplaned home Monday, January 25 and accorded full military honors and hero's burial. The peacekeepers are: Army Sgt. EUTACIO BERMUDEZ JR., Airforce Sgt. JANICE AROCENA whose body was retrieved 9 days after the quake- and Navy Petty Officer 3 PERLIE PANANGUI. Arocena and Panangui are pictured on top of this hub. Our heartfelt condolence.
Homecoming at Villamor air base
TOP government official and military officials led by President Gloria M Arroyo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo joined families of Air Force Sgt. JaniceArocens, Navy Data Processor 3 Pearly Panangui and Army Sgt. Eustacio Bermudez of the 10th Philippine Peacekeeping contingent in Haiti and UN Staff Member Jerome Yao in an emotional homecoming at the Villamor Air Base.
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