Cop killed in Marawi attack had dreams of becoming a lawyer
COTABATO CITY – Police Senior Inspector Freddie Manuel Solar was planning to go to Cotabato City and enroll at the Notre Dame University College of Law.
His dream of becoming a lawyer and serve his colleagues through law could no longer happen.
Solar, a graduate of the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 2007, was shot dead by a member of the ISIS-inspired Maute Group who attacked Marawi City Tuesday afternoon.
He happened to be in front of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center on board a police Mahindra car when gunmen took him hostage. His captors later shot him dead.
“We lost a dedicated police officer and a good father,” said Senior Police Officer 2 Patricia Bueno of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG-ARMM).
Quoting Manilyn, Solar’s wife, Bueno said he was first captured by the Maute Group. When they learned he was a police officer, he was immediately shot several times.
Solar was in civilian clothes at that time. He was the intelligence unit chief of the Marawi City Police.
As of Wednesday, his remains were still in the hospital while his wife Manilyn was in a safe place within Marawi City.
“She cannot retrieve the remains of her husband,” Bueno, also Solar’s aunt, said Tuesday noon.
Bueno said her nephew really wanted to become a lawyer because he wanted to help his colleagues who got into trouble while performing their sworn duties as law enforcers.
“I can’t believe you’re gone, sir,” Bueno said of Solar, 32, a native of Baguio City, who had been living with his family in Bukidnon.
Susan Solar-Urbano, Solar’s elder sister, called her sibling as “Marawi Fallen Cop, a Baguio boy!”
Before joining the PNPA, Urbano said, Solar had repeatedly said he would be successful someday and would inspire other PNPA graduates.
“A young man with a dream. He dreamed to be successful. He dreamed to uplift his family from the hard life that we experience,” Urbano said.
She recalled that growing up, life was hard for Solar and his family in Baguio City. “Our father could hardly make ends meet. Oftentimes, we go to our neighbors and ask for “sayote tops or camote tops” just to have something to eat. We begged at the store to lend us rice just so we can cook something,” Urbano recalled.
“Life was really hard but this did not stop my brother from pursuing his calling and achieving his dreams. He experienced hardship and this became his bread and butter to achieve his goals in life,” she said.
After graduation, Solar was assigned to Mindanao.
“We have pleaded for him to come back to Baguio, again and again. We had asked him to apply for re-assignment at any other place in the Philippines except Mindanao,” Urbano added.
“At first, it was just patriotism that drove him to be in there. And as days and years passed, he ignored our request to work for his re-assignment but he always assured us that it was safe there,” she said.
Urbano said her brother kept telling her that the people in Marawi respected him, thus encouraging him to stay on. “He has come to love the people of Marawi.”
“But just last night, at the Marawi siege, in the hands of heartless terrorists, we lost him,” the emotional Urbano said.
“He died defending the people that he had been assigned to protect. We lost a humble, kind-hearted, determined brother whom we dearly love, all for the sake of the country. This is really heartbreaking for all of us,” she said.
Solar left behind two young children. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.