MANILA – A ranking official of the Zamboanga Del Sur-based 1st Infantry Division succumbed to the coronavirus disease 2019, his classmates at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989 announced Monday.
The military official was identified as 1st Infantry Division assistant commander Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr.
He succumbed to the disease around 5 a.m. at a Pagadian City hospital.
“It is with deep sadness that we would like to inform the friends and relatives of our mistah, Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan PMA 89, that he succumbed to the deadly covid virus early this morning. He was the Assistant Division Commander of 1st Infantry Division,” Maj. Gen. Ernesto Torres, Army Chapter President of PMA Class 1989, said.
Torres said internment details will be posted as soon.
“Our sincere condolences to Lanie and the kids; and prayers for the eternal repose of Baggy’s soul,” Torres said.
He added that Gaerlan is the fourth member of their class to die due to Covid-19.
Capt. Mary Jephte Mañebog, 1ID information officer, said Gaerlan was tested positive for Covid-19 through antigen test on Sept. 2.
Gaerlan was transferred to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City from the 1ID Station Hospital in Labangan town on the same day, she added.
She said Gaerlan underwent a confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that also yielded positive results.
Gaerlan, a 55-year-old native of La Union, has served as the 1ID assistant division commander since Aug. 19, 2019.
The province of Zamboanga del Sur is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.
As of Sept. 5, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said 17,133 of its personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 with the death toll reaching 35.
While 15,244 of those infected have been tagged as recovered, the AFP has still around 1,323 active cases. (with reports from Teofilo Garcia Jr./ PNA)