Bemedaled ex-Army general Dema-ala passes away
KORONADAL CITY—Retired Maj. Gen. Agustin Dema-ala, a bemedaled, battle-hardened Army officer in Mindanao, who rose from the ranks, passed away due to illness.
He was 70.
Dema-ala, who was suffering from a liver ailment, died at a hospital in Davao City Tuesday afternoon.
He mostly fought the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the dreaded kidnap-for-ransom Pentagon Gang in Central Mindanao, and the Abu Sayyaf terrorists during his colorful military stint.
Before retiring in 2006, Dema-ala was commander of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division based in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, the stronghold of the MILF.
He also served as chief of the Joint Task Force Jolo on the island-province of Sulu, a known bailiwick of the Abu Sayyaf.
Dema-ala, a native of South Cotabato, was not a product of the premiere Philippine Military Academy. He entered the Philippine Army through the Reserve Officers Training Corps.
After retiring from military service, he forayed into politics and was elected provincial board member of South Cotabato for three terms.
Haide Lacdo-o, a sister of Dema-ala, said the late military general had fulfilled his dreams for his family and the organizations he was involved with.
“Your loss was so painful, but it’s time to let you go and be with our Creator,” she said. “Thank you for serving South Cotabato province and our country.”
South Cotabato Vice Gov. Vicente de Jesus said the province lost a good leader with the passing of Dema-ala, fondly called “Noy Toting” or “Ting” by family members and close friends.
“Rest in paradise now, Gen. Ting!” said de Jesus, expressing his condolences to the family of the late military general.
Dema-ala left his wife Imelda and children Eric, Louie, Jay, Karen, and several grandchildren.
His sons Eric and Louie serve as officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Jay in the Philippine National Police.
At the time of his demise, Dema-ala was the anti-drug czar of this city.
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