Remembering the Fallen But Brave SAF

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I have to make way for a tribute to the fallen brave Special Action Force, the infamous “Mamasapano Massacre.” Had it not for an elaborate conversation with a fellow par buster at the BCC Golf Club, the very painful story of sacrifice in the line of duty will not see the light anew in my short memory. As if on cue, because of the nearing anniversary of that incident that jolted the Yellow administration, the wound was resurrected. Thus, this reprint, tears literally falling…

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SAF WOLVERINES. These pictures should remind us not of our loss but of how these Heroes gave more chances of living our lives in peace.
SAF WOLVERINES. These pictures should remind us not of our loss but of how these Heroes gave us more chances of living our lives in peace.

“We have to give the highest toast and salute to our brave PNP SAF who met their fate in the hands of the MILF in that part of our country. My heart really bleeds for them. They stood their ground at the most disadvantageous position they could ever have in the battlefield. But in their hearts and mind, the love of their country and the service they want to extend to our society because they want peace and orderliness in all areas stood out among them, without regard to their safety and lives, and the lives of their respective families back home. What now, beloved and assuming good leaders of our country? Do we allow again such lives to be sacrificed tomorrow, next month, and succeeding days to come? Stand ground also and be brave to accept responsibility over these wasted lives! You even hit the national prime time TV to make a run-around explanation that only befuddled everything. Ano kami tanga?”

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“Back in 1983, I was then a promdi (from the Barangay, yes I was born and raised in Barrio San Benito Norte, ALU) boy in the beautiful town of Aringay. I was an altar boy in our 1800-year old Catholic church. But you cannot see this big and beautiful church made of stones, bricks, and egg white anymore. It was so helpless in that massive earthquake in July 1990. It was totally and actually destroyed to dust. Back as an altar boy (sakristan) in our church, I witnessed the largest requiem mass for a fallen (PMA) soldier – Lt. Madarang. I remember when the wife of the fallen soldier was receiving the commemorative Philippine flag as her memento in front of the casket of the cold body of her husband with tears flowing from her cheeks. She was visibly on her family way for their first baby. At that time, I felt so much pain and sorrow for the family of a fallen fellow Aringayeño. Lt. Madarang was a new graduate of the premier military school in Asia, the Philippine Military Academy.”

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“A young boy as I am, I have so many dream. Yes, I want to enter the PMA after my highschool days. But that changed completely, not my decision though, but a prodding from my dear Nanang Ettang and emulated Tatang Sabas. They do not want me to lose my life in the so-called service to the country profession. Anything but not in the military!, they remarked. And that was history.”

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“That story in my life suddenly came back in a flash that I vividly recall the thousands of people that attended the requiem mass. When the procession was already in the street towards the final resting place of Lt. Madarang, a huey helicopter was then hovering above the large crowd and dropped so many flowers. I had mixed emotions then, happy that many are saluting the fallen soldier, and sorrow for the bereaved family he suddenly left behind. More than 30 years ago, many more lives during those in between years were surely sacrificed and no hope of let up. I fear more to come.”

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“But is the lasting peace in Mindanao beyond reach? Is the present peace process, the BBL, an answer to the dream of total peace in that part of our country? Your guess is as good as mine. With 2016 is just around the corner, where everybody is already making moves to out-move the other, let us just hope and pray to the Lord that no more lives should be sacrificed!”

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Forward circa 2017, gauged from the election promise of the unpredictable PRRD, it appears that justice will again be chased by the heirs of the SAF 44. Piman pay adi!

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