Slain policeman hailed a hero in Marawi, honored by kin in Baguio
COTABATO CITY—Senior Insp. Freddie Manuel Solar was planning to go to Cotabato City to enroll at the Notre Dame University College of Law. But now, his dream of becoming a lawyer will no longer happen.
Solar, 32, a graduate of Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Class 2007 and the intelligence unit chief of the Marawi City police, was shot dead by one of the armed men who attacked the city on Tuesday afternoon. According to reports, the armed men belong to the Maute terror group and the Abu Sayyaf, whose forces pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Solar was on board a police car when gunmen took him hostage in front of Amai Pakpak Medical Center. His captors later shot him dead.
Solar was one of five law enforcers killed in clashes between government troops and members of the terror groups on Tuesday.
“We lost a dedicated police officer and a good father,” said SPO2 Patricia Bueno of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Solar’s wife, Manilyn, said her husband was in civilian clothes when taken by the armed men. She said they shot and killed Solar when they learned that he was a police officer.
“He died defending the people that he had come to protect. We lost a humble, kindhearted, determined brother who we dearly love, all for the sake of the country,” wrote his sister, Susan Solar-Urbano on her Facebook account.
Solar was born in Baguio City and left two young children, a boy and a girl.
“For numerous times, we pleaded for him to come back to Baguio. We asked him to apply for reassignment to any other place in the Philippines except Mindanao,” Urbano said. But Solar did not heed his family’s request.
“He said the people there (Marawi) respected him and this was enough for him to stay. He had come to love the people of Marawi,” Urbano said.
Solar was assigned to Marawi City after he graduated from the PNPA in 2007. He was a member of the special Science class of Baguio City National High School.
Urbano said her brother, who dreamed of becoming a guest speaker someday at the PNPA, died “defending the people that he had come to cherish.”
“This is really heartbreaking for all of us. He dedicated his life for our country,” she said.
Bueno, Solar’s aunt, said the policeman’s remains were still in a hospital on Wednesday while his wife was in a safe place within Marawi.
Bueno said her nephew wanted to become a lawyer because he wanted to help his colleagues who got into trouble while performing their sworn duties as law enforcers.
Before joining the PNPA, Urbano said, Solar had repeatedly said he would be successful someday and become an inspiration to graduates.
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 went to our neighbors and asked for sayote tops or camote tops just to have something to eat. We begged at the store to lend us rice just so we could 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 [reach] his goals in life,” she said. —EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ WITH A REPORT FROM KARLSTON LAPNITEN
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