Oct 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/02/06MANILA755.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA755
2006-02-22 03:38
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO4395
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0755/01 0530338
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220338Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9363
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0107
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000755

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/PD, NEA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SOCI MOPS KPAO RP IZ
SUBJECT: FUNERALS FOR FIL-AM SOLDIERS UNDERSCORE CLOSE U.S.-PHILIPPINE BONDS

¶1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified — Please
handle accordingly.

¶2. (SBU) Summary: Military funerals for two
Filipino-American soldiers killed in Iraq were recently held
in the Philippines. The funerals drew large crowds and
generated highly positive local press play. In spite of the
tragic circumstances, the funerals highlighted continued
close U.S.-Philippine bonds. End Summary.

————————-
Funerals for Two Soldiers
————————-

¶3. (U) Military funerals for two Filipino-American soldiers
killed in Iraq were recently held in the Philippines.
Details on the two funerals follow:

— Charge and U.S. Army Brigadier General Richard Mills
attended the February 7 funeral of U.S. Army Chief Warrant
Officer Ruel Garcia, 24, in the town of Valenzuela, located
approximately 20 kilometers north of downtown Manila. A
Funeral Honor Guard from U.S. Army Korea was present on the
occasion. CWO Garcia emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 16,
later joining the U.S. Army. He was killed on January 16
when the Apache helicopter he was flying was shot down in
Taji, central Iraq. CWO Garcia posthumously received the
Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Air Medal;

— Charge and U.S. Army Brigadier General G.A. Schumacher of
Ft. Belvoir, Va. attended the January 19 funeral of U.S. Army
Sergeant Myla Maravillosa, 24, who was killed while on duty
with a U.S. Army Reserve unit in Hawijah, central Iraq, on
Christmas Eve. A Funeral Honor Guard, also from the 8th Army
Korea, was present at the funeral, which took place in
Inabangay, Bohol Island in the southern Philippines. Sgt.
Maravillosa moved to Hawaii as a teenager, enlisting in the
U.S. Army Reserves in 1999. She posthumously received the
Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal
and the Good Conduct Medal.

————————–
Funerals Draw Large Crowds
————————–

¶4. (U) Both of the funerals drew large crowds. Hundreds of
townspeople lined the streets of Valenzuela as the funeral
cortege passed by. In a particularly emotional moment,
Philippine military helicopters dropped rose petals over the
crowd at the cemetery, symbolizing CWO Garcia’s role as a
helicopter pilot. Many people also turned out for the
funeral in Bohol. In Valenzuela, the mayor of neighboring
Obando, CWO Garcia’s hometown in Bulacan Province, handed CWO
Garcia’s relatives a framed copy of a municipal resolution
recognizing Garcia’s heroism and achievement.

——————-
Positive Press Play
——————-

¶5. (U) The funerals generated highly positive local press
play. Most of Manila’s daily newspapers carried photos of
the funerals, including photos of U.S. military officers
kneeling down and presenting folded U.S. flags to next of
kin. Broadcast news also showed video clips of the funerals.

——-
Comment
——-

¶6. (SBU) The high honors awarded posthumously to CWO Garcia
and Sgt. Maravillosa exemplified U.S. dedication to its armed
forces. Some observers have contrasted U.S. dedication to
its forces with the numerous cases of Filipino troops who are
killed in combat but rarely receive such high honors, despite
the many casualties sustained in the decades-long Communist
and Muslim separatist insurgencies. By showcasing the
contributions and valor of the many Filipino-Americans in the
Iraq conflict, the funerals highlighted close U.S.-Philippine
bonds cemented over the past 100 years in war and peace.

MANILA 00000755 002 OF 002

Jones

   

 

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