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Staying alive

By: Jullie Y. Daza

Lt. John Frederick Savellano, killed in action four days after he led the team that had recovered P72 million from a house in Marawi. The lieutenant didn’t ask to die, he would’ve wanted to fight another day and make one more guy on the enemy side die for his masters.

On May 31, 10 soldiers were killed by friendly fire. A similar airstrike on July 12 killed two more soldiers and wounded 11. Did they want to die? It is almost certain that they did not, they would carry on, score another and more hits against the enemy. 

The battle for Marawi has been going on for far too long, even the Commander in Chief is amazed at the terrorists’ abundance of firepower. Whatever keeps them going, it is not their calling to die for their beliefs but to kill and destroy. 

There’s a bill pending in Congress to punish citizens for not singing “Lupang Hinirang” properly, be it in their posture, their style of singing, or compliance with the key, beat, and tempo of the music. 

Whether musicians and ordinary folks who cannot carry a tune agree with the proposal – the fine is P100,000 – this might be the right time to rethink the last two lines of the anthem: “Aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi, Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo” (Should our liberties be trampled upon, let us offer our lives: an inexact translation, to be sure, but the meaning is clear.)

Neither our men in uniform nor the average patriot is afraid to die, but let no one sing praises to the noble act of dying just because it is noble. As the wife of a policeman puts it, “Each day that he leaves the house I have to be prepared to hear the worst news of my life.” 

Watching the agony in Marawi unfold through the stories told by fearless journalists, we salute our wounded soldiers for telling the world that they cannot wait to get back to the battlefield! For that is the way live, to fight another day.

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