President Rodrigo Duterte has posthumously conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu on the Boholano Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilot who died while on duty when his helicopter crashed in waters off Getafe last week.
Major Gen. Simeon Felix Jr., commander of the Air Mobility Command, on behalf of Duterte bestowed the posthumous award with a rank of “Kalasag” to the late Captain Aurelios Olano prior to his burial on Monday.
The medal, which was received by the late airman’s wife, is accorded to “officials and personnel of the government and private individuals who lost their lives as a direct result of their participation to a campaign or advocacy of the President.”
On Tuesday, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) expressed its sympathy on the death of the fallen pilot.
The SP passed en masse a resolution extending the SP’s “profound condolences to the family, friends, and relatives of Captain Auelious Olano.”
Olano died after the McDonnell Douglas MD-520 “Defender” attack helicopter which he was piloting plummeted into waters off Barangay Taytay, Getafe on April 26.
Olano and three others who survived the crash were on an engineering flight.
Health authorities said Olano died of drowning after sustaining multiple injuries when the aircraft dove into the sea.
Olano was noted to have been among the pilots deployed during the Battle of Marawi in 2017.
He participated in the airstrikes against combined forces of the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group in what was deemed the longest urban battle in the country’s modern history. (R. Tutas)