MANILA — A heroes’ welcome awaits the Filipino United Nations peacekeepers who will return home from Golan Heights.
The homecoming tentatively scheduled on September 26 in Malacañang will be led by President Benigno Aquino III, once he returns from his trip in Europe and the United States.
“The President will lead in welcoming them home. Details are still being worked out but, definitely, they will call on the President,” said Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, Public Affairs Office chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The first batch of Filipino soldiers arrived on Friday night at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
According to Zagala, the second batch will arrive late Sunday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Aside from this, the military is also planning to hold a motorcade for the troops.
The country pulled out the contingent, led by Lt. Col. Ted Dumosmog, two weeks ahead of the schedule from Golan Heights.
Last August, about 75 Filipino soldiers were trapped in a standoff with the Syrian rebels demanding for their weapons. This lead to a seven-hour firefight. Fortunately, the Filipino contingent were able to escape.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. acknowledged the peacekeepers “for showing resolve and determination in fulfilling our country’s commitment to their mission of preserving the integrity of the line of separation between Syria and Israel.”