Army ranking official succumbs to COVID-19

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1st Infantry Division assistant commander Brig. Gen. Bagnus Gaerlan Jr. died of COVID-19 around 5 AM today at a Pagadian City hospital, according to his colleagues at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1989.

“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.

“Our sincere condolences to Lanie and the kids; and prayers for the eternal repose of Baggy’s soul,” Torres further said, adding that internment details will be posted soon.

Gaerlan is the fourth member of their class to die as a result of COVID-19. He tested positive for COVID-19 through an antigen test on September 2, according to Capt. Mary Jephte Maebog, 1ID information officer.

According to Maebog, Gaerlan was transferred from the 1ID Station Hospital in Labangan town to the Zamboanga del Sur Medical Center in Pagadian City on the same day.

Gaerlan also had a confirmatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, according to her, which came back positive.

Since August 19, 2019, Gaerlan, a 55-year-old La Union native, has served as the 1ID assistant division commander.

The province of Zamboanga del Sur is now under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) stated on Sepember 5 that 17,133 of its soldiers had tested positive for COVID-19, with 35 deaths. While 15,244 of those infected have been tagged as recovered, the AFP has still around 1,323 active cases.

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