From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 8): Army officer slain in Sorsogon should be celebrating birthday today
Army 2Lt Lee O. Tremedal should be celebrating his 37 birthday today but a landmine blast claimed his life on Monday.
Tremedal died, along with another Army officer, when a landmine planted by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels exploded in a remote village in Gubat town in Sorsogon.
His wife Jheniefeb, 34, a practicing dentist in her hometown in Surigao del Norte, had planned to arrive today to surprise and join him in celebrating his birthday but instead, she would be mourning the tragic fate that befell her husband, according to Army Maj. Virgilio Perez, Southern Luzon Command (Solcom) spokesperson.
Perez, in a phone interview Tuesday, said Tremedal, before joining the Army, was a BS Agriculture Technology graduate at the Surigao del Norte College of Agriculture and Technology and an advanced ROTC officer during his college years.
He entered the military service as enlisted personnel in September 2005 as a candidate soldier.
Tremedal was first assigned at 78IB of the 8th Infantry Division in Samar, then in Bicol, at the 31st the Infantry Batallion operating in Sorsogon province.
Tremedal and Army Staff Sergeant Allan Bercasio died in the landmine explosion early morning Monday that also wounded seven other soldiers while on combat patrol in Barangay Casili, a remote village in Gubat, Sorsogon.
According to Perez, he (Tremedal) led a squad (17) of Army troopers regularly conducting combat patrol in outskirt villages where suspected NPA rebels were reportedly sighted and holding extortion activities victimizing villagers in far-flung communities.
On the other hand, Bercasio was a native of Goa town in Camarines Sur, and a platoon leader under Tremedal.
Perez said the remains of 2Lt Tremedal lie in state at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel here in Legazpi, to be brought later to his hometown in Surigao del Norte.
Tremedal and Bercasio would be given recognition for their dedication and gallantry in their military duty.
Perez said about 50 suspected NPA rebels waylaid the squad of Army troopers that included the two slain soldiers on combat patrol on Monday morning.
The rebel attack coincided with the interment at the Casiguran Public Cemetery of ranking rebel leader Andres “Ka Magno” Hubilla and NPA member Miguel “Ka Billy” Himor.
The military said Hubilla and Himor died in an encounter with soldiers in a remote village in Casiguran town, also in Sorsogon, on July 28 but Karapatan-Bicol's fact-finding mission claimed the two were massacred along with civilians Arnel Borres and Dick Laura.
Hundreds of supporters wearing red shirts joined the burial rites in a call for justice for the slain rebels.