5 years after Mamasapano, son of fallen SAF 44 trooper remembers his ‘idol’
MANILA, Philippines — When Rodrigo Acob III was still young, he said he saw little of his father, Master Sgt. Rodrigo Jr., because of his job.
“Sometimes, we wonder kung bakit mas marami siyang oras at araw sa work niya kaysa sa amin. During important events sa buhay namin as a family, lagi siyang wala,” Rodrigo III said.
(Sometimes, we wonder why he devoted most of his time and days to his work. During important events as a family, he was always absent.)
“Minsan, di namin maiwasan na magtampo sa kanya (Sometimes, we can’t help but get mad at him),” he added.
But because of a botched operation in 2015, Rodrigo III lost his father, whom he looks up to as his “idol.”
Rodrigo Jr. was one of the fallen 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos who were killed during the botched “Oplan Exodus” operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, 2015.
“Oplan Exodus” aimed to capture Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, who also died during the operation.
Rodrigo III was 12 at the time his father died. His sister, meanwhile, was only 3 years old.
But as he grew older, the son of the fallen SAF commando later realized that his father was not just the hero of his family.
“Hero pala siya ng buong bansa, and even outside of the country. With that, lalo namin siya naging idol,” Rodrigo III said during the SAF 44 anniversary at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
(He was a hero of the whole country, and even outside of the country, With that, we idolized him even more.)
Five years since the incident, Rodrigo III said they are recovering from the pain of having lost a family member.
Still, he adds, that he, and the families of the other fallen commandos feel “super proud” of the SAF 44’s show of heroism.
“Ang kanilang heroism ay nagbigay sa amin ng lakas at inspirasyon para ipagpatuloy ang buhay nang wala sila,” he expressed.
(Their heroism gave us the strength and inspiration to continue living our lives even without them.)
Rodrigo III also gave this advice: “Sana po maging huwaran sila sa ating lahat na gawin ang ating mga tungkulin, maliit man o malaki, para makatulong na rin sa pagkamit ng lasting peace and prosperity sa ating bansa.”
(I hope that they serve as an inspiration for all of us. In doing our share, whether how small or big it is, so we can help achieve lasting peace and prosperity for our country.)
Edited by MUF
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