May 22, 2020
The Department of National Defense (DND) received thousands of protective face masks from the Republic of Korea on Friday.
Arsenio Andolong, DND public affairs service director, said the 50,000 protective face masks was formally recieved by DND officials led by Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans, and Reservist Affairs Reynaldo Mapagu and PVAO Administrator Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina from Ambassador of Korea to the Philippines, Han Dong-Man.
Andoling said the masks was donated by the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs for the use of Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (Peftok) veterans and their families.
"The masks were turned over to the representatives of the Peftok veterans, led by Cpl Bartolome Catolos (ret) and Atty. Walter Young," he said.
Andolong said Han recognized the contribution of the PEFTOK veterans to the “peace, freedom and democracy” that the Korea enjoys today.
Han said the turnover of the donation is a gesture of their appreciation to the Filipino veterans.
Andolong said in his remarks "Mapagu noted that as the Filipinos fought in the Korean War 70 years ago, today the nation is waging another battle against an "invisible enemy," which is the COVID-19 pandemic."
He said Mapagu thanked the Republic of Korea for the donation, which will help ensure the welfare of the Peftok veterans and their families.
"On behalf of the Secretary of National Defense as well as the Peftok association board members, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to the Republic of Korea represented by Ambassador Han and Lieutenant Colonel Bae Jung Hoon (Korean Defense Attaché to the Philippines) for helping our Peftok veterans at this time of the pandemic,” Mapagu said.
Andolong said Carolina also echoed the long-standing relations between the Philippines and Korea that allow the two nations to assist one another in times of need.
"The donation, intended to ensure the safety and well-being of the Peftok veterans and their families amid the COVID-19 pandemic, came as the Republic of Korea commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Korean War this year," he said. Robina Asido/DMS
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