From InterAksyon (Jan 12): Soldier leads rescue of toddler from hostage-taker father
Sgt. Gilbert Ang. PHOTO FROM THE PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES
A toddler was rescued from her father who threatened to kill her during a rescue operation by policemen and civilian volunteers organized on the spot on Sumulong Highway in Barangay Mambugan, Antipolo City, Saturday, belated reports said Monday.
Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, public affairs chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) identified the soldier as Army Technical Sergeant Gilbert Ang, 39, a member of the AFP Special Operations Group (SOG).
“He was on his way home on board a motorcycle when he spotted a commotion. He stopped near the crowd of people to investigate because just a few meters away he saw a deranged man in his 20s poking a knife at he neck of his own daughter, so he learned later,” Cabunoc said.
In his personal account, Ang said armed policemen tried to negotiate with the suspect for the release of the child but the suspect ignored them.
“The sight of policemen with long firearms irritated the hostage-taker who kept walking away, followed by a growing number of villagers. By that time, the stand-off had dragged for about half an hour,” he said.
Ang said he talked with Chief Inspector Dogwe, team leader of the policemen, and offered to help rescue the child.
“I told them that I can do something with the help of a few unarmed civilians. I explained that the suspect might stab the child because he was very agitated and appeared emotionally unstable,” Ang said.
Civilian volunteers were also taken into the rescue team and were briefed on what to do.
“I assigned myself as the main effort, the civilians and policemen as the supporting efforts. It was like a military operation where I am the over-all leader and primary actor,” Ang said.
As the main effort, he volunteered to ram his motorcycle on the left side of the hostage-taker’s body in order to throw him off-balance, and allow the two civilians and policemen to grab the knife and the child. They all knew that it was easier said than done.
"I made sure that the plan was clearly understood by all players. The suspect had already walked about a kilometer toward Marikina-Infanta highway and was visibly exhausted,” he said.
In two occasions, he had to abort his plan because the suspect became suspicious and again threatened to kill the child.
He patiently waited for the opportunity by continuously trailing the suspect from behind. His team members were only a few meters away around the suspect who looked like being escorted by a platoon of well-wishers as he walked with the victim along the busy road.
Seeing that the hostage-taker was not looking, he raced toward him, aiming the front wheel of his motorcycle on the suspect's left leg. He hit the mark and crashed just beside the suspect.
"I was not fully aware of the next scene because people rushed in. I felt something hit my butt but I sensed the pain on my leg which smashed on the road," Ang narrated.
Senior Police Officer 3 Jesus Magno, SPO1 Herbert Iligan, and PO2 Roy Macuto of Police Community Precinct 1, Antipolo City wasted no time in disarming the suspect, who was later identified as Alvin Occidental, 28, a resident of Pansol, Quezon City.
The Moro Front said that the question of constitutionality of any provision of the BBL is in the domain of the Supreme Court.
Taking note of many statements coming out in the media by groups purportedly uttered by some leaders of the two chambers of Congress which the MILF categorized into three (3) groups on many matters related to the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the Moro Front said that “Most of the public statements were good and very encouraging; others are not so wholesome; and still others spoke of some unconstitutional provisions of the proposed law”.
Among the three groups, the MILF focused on the third category, deliberately sidestepping the first and second categories. The second category it said was made up of one or two, or at most three, legislators, who have been traditionally known as not supporters of the BBL.
It said that the MILF appreciates the second category, because it allows us to see the other side of the debate. Even outright spoilers are not all times bad. They can also enrich the debate, although that is not their real motive.
The MILF believes that if these legislators ever made these statements of the unconstitutionality of some aspects of the BBL, they were made in good faith. Or, they were quoted out of context by some media reporters, which we believe require a clarification. It also said that “prudence is a better part of judgment”.
“We are in a very sensitive and delicate situation” and “MILF members and combatants are waiting in baited breath about the fate of BBL in Congress. While we have faith in the collective wisdom of Congress to pass a good legislation, in a tense situation such as we are now in, it is people’s nature to react swiftly --- sometimes unreasonably-- even to a slight movement, the MILF continued saying.
The issue of the BBL is linked with other tracks of the peace process especially normalization. The MILF is committed to decommission its weapons and forces and put them beyond use, but it is in exchange for something for our people.
“That something is in a good BBL”, MILF said in the Luwaran editorial.