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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Great Marine

My father was a Marine- a fine and well-decorated soldier. He entered military service with the Philippine Marine Corp on 9 July 1958 as a rifleman. He was a veteran of the Mindanao War against the Muslim secession movement and local bandits in the area of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

His succeeding assignments were: Presidential Security Agency from 1961 to 1964; Naval Operating Force 2 (intelligence) in 1964 to 1965. He also served at Naval Provost Marshall as Military Police in 1966 to 1967. He was also a part of an anti-smuggling strike force of the Bureau of Customs, (Phil). From 1967 to 1974, he served as supply sergeant then as chief armorer of the Philippine Marine Corp. Then lastly as NCOIC and first sergeant at the Research and Development Center, GHQ, AFP where he became the government inspector in the Elitool-Colt SRDP.

While in Marine service, he attended schoolings that earned him commendations and promotions:

  • 1967- Naval Amphibious School, Amphibious Training Command, United States Pacific Fleet- Amphibious Intelligence Staff Officer
  • 1967- NBI Police Academy- Narcotics Control and Investigation
  • 1970- Philippine Army School Center (PASC)- Armament Maintenance
  • 1972- Ordnance School, United States Marine Corp Development and Education Command Quantico Virginia- Infantry Weapons Armorer; Optical Instrument Repairman
  • 1975- Jones & Lamson USA- Optical Comparator Seminar
  • 1976- Colt Industries, Hartford Connecticut USA, Philippine Training Program (M-16A1 Rifle SRDP) - in the field of Government Inspection

However, one important highlight in his military career I guess was the account he was always telling me tirelessly. He was so proud of that day…

One of the marines in their platoon went back to their remote marine detachment drunk after going to the town proper in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu Province. However, before he went to the marine detachment, he rudely rang the bell of a local barrio (a small rural village) Mosque, which enraged the Moslem people in the barrio. They armed themselves with firearms and bolos and were ready to attack the outnumbered Marines to get the wayward soldier. However, although outnumbered, the Marines had superior firepower and if fighting ensued, many civilians would be killed.

Dad hurried to the Moslem leaders in the barrio. He sought their help to pacify the infuriated barrio people to avoid a senseless bloodshed. The Moslem leaders agreed to talk to the people and convinced them to put down their weapons and return to their homes. Fortunately, the people listened to them. Dad was the hero of the hour not because he showed superior combat skills, but because he showed concern to the barrio people and found a peaceful solution to what could had been a bloody encounter.

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