Experiencing great losses often shapes an individual to be kinder and softer. Braving through the harsh realities of the everyday life, a gentle spirit and a giving heart often go a long way.
PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan leads the turnover of the financial assistance to the families of the fallen 98 soldiers and three police officers during the Marawi siege that began two months ago.
In coordination with the Duterte Cabinet Spouses Association, companies chaired or headed by Pangilinan, such as PLDT and Smart through the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF), Meralco, through its One Meralco Foundation, Philex Mining Corporation, and Metro Pacific Investments joined together to pool enough resources and funds to extend their help to the families.
“In this difficult time, we are with our brothers and sisters in Marawi City. We hope that this gesture provides a fresh start for each of the families as they move forward with resilience and hope,” said PSF President Esther Santos.
“It’s good that they have this kind of assistance for the families in Marawi. Nagulat kami, because MVP is involved in this kind of project to help us and maybe to ease our pain. We appreciate the MVP Group’s gesture and it is a big help for all of us,” said Mercy Savellano, the mother of Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano.
Mercy Savellano, the mother of Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano, in an interview with Beyond Access reporter Katrina Mallari.
The good son
Bravery isn’t often the loud, clashing swords of medieval knights defending the land. Sometimes, it comes in the form a quiet, unsaid echoes of a good conscience rooted within a principled man. The 29-year old Savellano led his platoon of 13 Marines in a firefight against the Maute Group in Marawi City. Savellano and his troop recovered P79-million worth of cash and checks from the terrorist group.
“He was a good son and a good person. John, when you describe him, was a principled man. He was very honest and he had integrity. And we are really proud of him,” said Mercy.
Mercy remembers her son as a jolly person who lights up the room with his jokes and bright sense of humor. Exhibiting a resilient spirit, Mercy describes the family as a happy one. “The support given to us by relatives, friends, the government – even from the military itself – and social media is very uplifting. There will always be a sense of longing for John. We will always miss him.”
PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan with the family of Marine 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano.
MVP Tulong Kapatid, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) consortium of the MVP Group, recently went to Iligan and Marawi, where some of the families affected by the Marawi siege are currently evacuated. “This was a promise we made to our Chairman MVP during his birthday last July 14. So within his birth month, Tulong Kapatid extended the same help to the children and people of Marawi,” Santos said.
PSF donated 500 food packs and 500 malong while Smart also provided 500 food packs and 300 coming from One Meralco Foundation to more than 1,000 people who are currently in evacuation centers in Iligan and Marawi. PSF also brought ice cream for the children and adults in Maria Cristina evacuation center in Iligan, to bring much needed cheer.
On top of that, PSF also gave 1,000 food packs for the army, as well as 100 portable water filtration devices to address the problem of sanitation and potable water for both the troops and the evacuees. As support for the needs of the soldiers in the battlefield, PSF likewise donated 200 chest seals and hemostatic agents which stop bleeding from gunshot wounds. “We considered these as lifesavers, so we quickly procured and turned them over to the Camp Evangelista Hospital attending to the soldiers in Marawi,” Santos said.
55 year-old Rohayma Macarimbor is grateful for the help provided by the MVP Group. Macarimbor has been trapped inside her house in Marawi for three days. When she heard the news on the radio about the evacuation of every civilian, she walked more than eight hours from Marawi to Saguiran, where she was taken by the military to the evacuation center. “She was so happy with the presence of the MVP Group as she was starting to feel that nobody loves her anymore,” Santos noted.
Marawi resident Rohayma Macarimbor, 55, with PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther O. Santos.
A native of Iligan, Macarimbor wishes for the chaos in Marawi to stop and for the people of Marawi to finally find solace in the arms of peace.
“Despite the harsh realities of war and death in the battlefields of Marawi, we saw hope and the common longing for peace among both our troops and the civilians affected by the war. We also saw how appreciative they all are for any help that we can offer. When I saw the baby — John Paul, who was born on July 14 amidst the struggles of fleeing from the war, I remembered the saying: A baby is God's opinion that the world should go on by Carl Sandburg. Although the road to recovery might still be far off for the people of Marawi, we in PSF and the MVP Group would like to continue to lend them a helping hand,” Santos said. CC: