Heroes in uniform


The President praised three policemen for heroism at his State of the Nation Address on Monday.

PO3 Evelyn Arbo was cited for fighting off jeepney robbers and got stabbed in the process.

PO2 Dondon Sultan was praised for assisting a motorist who had a flat tire and for refusing a reward offered to him.

PO3 Felipe Montecar was extolled for arresting “most wanted” criminals in Bacolod City and putting them in jail.

Although minor compared to what Arbo and Montecar did, Sultan’s deed was more unusual because it was done beyond the call of duty.

One rarely, if ever, sees policemen doing boy scout or girl scout deeds like helping an old woman cross a busy street or returning a lost kitten to its owner.

We should have more cops like Sultan.

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Two female soldiers, Privates First Class Rebecca M. Besales and Marian L. Reyes, have done their organization, the Philippine Marine Corps, proud.

Besales and Reyes volunteered to become blood donors to Marie Andrea Tuason, a hit-and-run accident victim, who needed immediate blood transfusion.

The Medical City, the hospital where Tuason is confined, needed blood for the young woman who was bleeding heavily.

My help was sought for blood donation for the woman who was to undergo surgery.

I called my long-time friend, retired Marine Maj. Gen. Bill Ruiz, former Marine commandant, for help on behalf of Tuason.

In no time at all, Ruiz said he got two volunteers for blood transfusion: Besales and Reyes.

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When my daughter, Gem, was stricken with dengue during a dengue fever epidemic many years ago, I sought the help of then Marine commandant, Maj. Gen. Ponciano “El Mestizo” Millena, for blood plasma.

The St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City was full of dengue patients, mostly young boys and girls, who needed a blood transfusion.

Millena sent a truckload of Marines who volunteered to donate blood.

As a result, not only Gem but also other patients benefited from the Good Samaritan Marines.

The grateful parents of the young patients were profuse in their thanks to the Marines who told them the one to thank was Gen. Millena.

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In remote towns where Marines were assigned as a unit but had to be transferred to another place, townsfolk cried when they were leaving.

There are stories that some folk would tug at the uniforms of the Marines in a desperate effort to prevent them from leaving.

After reading about Besales and Reyes’ Good Samaritan deed, now you know why.

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