Deadline all the time

breaking news stories, photos, and video

Archive for October 28th, 2007

Filipino peacekeeper in Sudan dies of malaria

leave a comment »
Last updated 11:16am (Mla time) 10/28/2007

MANILA, Philippines –(UPDATE) Army Lieutenant Colonel Renerio Batalla, a Filipino peacekeeper in Sudan, died of malaria on October 24, a day after before his 41st birthday and around three weeks before he was scheduled to return to the Philippines, learned Saturday.The Philippine Mission to the United Nations confirmed the report.

In an exchange of text messages, Second Secretary Elmer Cato, peacekeeping officer at the Philippine mission in New York, said the Philippine Army officer succumbed to malaria a few weeks before he was to end his one-year tour of duty with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).

Quoting a report from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Cato said Batalla passed away in the southern town of Rumbek, where he served as a UN military observer monitoring the implementation of a 2005 ceasefire agreement between the Sudanese government and rebel groups.

According to Cato, UNMIS has scheduled a memorial service for Batalla in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Saturday. His remains will then be repatriated to the Philippines via Dubai.

His remains are expected to arrive at the Villamor Airbase at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Army public affairs chief Lieutenant Colonel Ernesto Torres Jr. said.

Batalla will be given full military honors at Villamor Airbase on Monday morning. He will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 5, the spokesman added.

UNMIS has been mandated by the UN Security Council to monitor and support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, which was signed by the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army on January 9, 2005.

UNMIS has 10,000 peacekeepers, including 750 military observers whose task is to carry out monitoring and verification activities in their areas of responsibility.

The Philippines has 667 military and police personnel serving in the UN missions in Afghanistan, Cote d’ Ivoire, Georgia, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Nepal, Sudan, and Timor Leste. Of this number, 21 are military observers based in Cote d’ Ivoire (2), Liberia (3), Sudan (13) and Timor Leste (3).

According to records of the DPKO, 15 Filipino military, police, and civilian peacekeepers have died of various causes, mostly illnesses and accidents, while serving in various UN missions overseas.

Only one of these fatalities –Sergeant Antonio Batomalaque — was attributed to hostile action. He was shot and killed by gunmen while serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti in 2005, thus making him the first Filipino peacekeeper to be killed in action.

Veronica Uy with a report from Joel Guinto; originally posted 1:59 p.m., October 27, 2007

View article as posted on

Written by joelguinto

Sun+00:002007-10-28T04:47:49+00:00+00:0010b+00:00Sun, 28 Oct 2007 04:47:49 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

Posted in Uncategorized