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Trapped Filipino Peacekeeper in Quake-hit Haiti Rescued

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A Filipino peacekeeper trapped in a hotel in Haiti that was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday has been rescued, the Philippine military spokesman said on Thursday.

The peacekeeper, Corporal David F. Catacutan, was rescued from the basement gym of Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince, said the 10th Philippine Contingent Commander Lieutenant Colonel Lope C. Dagoy.

Corporal Catacutan had slight body contusion but is in stable condition. He is now in his detachment at the vicinity of the Montana Hotel. His spouse has been informed of the rescue.

The status of the three other trapped Filipino peacekeepers remained the same.

Meanwhile, a task force of the Philippine Peacekeeping Contingent is conducting search and rescue for Filipinos in Haiti.

The task force, however, said limited visibility, blocked road conditions, poor communications hamper efforts.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo has instructed Philippine Ambassador to Havana Macarthur F. Corsino to go to Haiti as soon as possible to coordinate the efforts of the task force.

There are an estimated 462 Filipinos in Haiti, of which 290 are civilians and 172 are peacekeepers. The Filipino civilians are mostly in the garments, telecommunication and power generation sectors. They mostly occupy middle and upper management positions. There are also Filipino nuns and priests in Haiti.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2010)

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