Salem Espares-Estrada, 55, hasn’t heard from his son Dexter in four months. Her only news of his whereabouts came in Monday morning: he was one of those who perished from the C-130 plane crash.
Cpl. Dexter E. Estrada, 32, has been in the Philippine Army for nine years. The desire to support his parents and the ambition of becoming a government troop, prompted him to join the Army.
On that fateful Sunday, Dexter was seated near the aircraft’s cockpit. His last communication was to his fellow soldier informing the latter of their transfer to Patikul in Sulu.
The crash killed at least 50 soldiers instantly. Dexter’s charred remains require DNA testing for proper identification before being flown back to his hometown in Nabua, Camarines Sur. Accordingly, his parents both underwent DNA testing as well at the Camarines Sur Crime Lab in Naga City.
Mrs. Estrada, upon first seeing the tragedy on TV news, says she felt a sudden fear inside her. Her intuition was not mistaken.