Filipinos are worth dying for » Manila Bulletin News

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By Chito A. Chavez

Borrowing the words of former senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr., 161 wounded soldiers who fought the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City and  the New People’s Army (NPA) in several areas Saturday said that Filipinos “are worth dying for.”

Members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (Mark Balmores | Manila Bulletin)

The wounded troops are presently confined at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Medical Center in Quezon City.

Col. Patrick de Leon, camp commander of the AFP Medical Center, said the overwhelming support of various groups are needed to uplift the spirit of the wounded soldiers who had risked their lives in providing safety and protection to the citizenry.

In simple rites Saturday, motorcycle group Club 200 founded by de Leon in 1994 extended financial and other forms of assistance to the injured soldiers.

Aside from the members of the motorcycle group, winners of Miss Globe Philippines were also on hand to provide relief to the “heroes.’’

The visibly overjoyed soldiers were entertained while receiving their cash gifts and other presents from the group.

In the parade ground where some of the wounded soldiers were presented, Private First Class SilverioCabido, 29, said he lost his right arm when snipers shot him with an M-16 rifle during a midnight encounter with the NPA on June 29 in Surigao Del Norte.

Despite losing a limb, Cabido remained upbeat and is still eager to return to the battlefield if called upon to serve the country.

“Trabaho lang tayo sir. Gusto ko bumalik sa field kasamaangmgatropa. Okay lang naman sa akin kahit saan ako dalhin (It is part of my job. I would like to return to the field with my fellow troops. It is okay for me to be assigned anywhere),’’ Cabido said.

Obviously avoiding to do office work at the AFP, Cabido remains optimistic that he can still do gun battle narrating that he could be fitted with a robotic right hand that would enable him to hold his weapon.

For 22-year-old boyish-looking Private John Dexter Acaylar, it has long been a childhood dream to be a soldier.

Acaylar’s right arm was severely fractured in many places and is now fitted with a sling where several stainless steel are grotesquely pierced through the muscles and bones of his limb.

He recounted the day when his troop was trapped in a building in Marawi City when shots from the Maute group rained on them endlessly hitting his sniper buddy on the head that led to his instant death.

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