From Tempo (Aug 23): Rescuer found dead
A 36-year-old member of the search and rescue unit of the Philippine Air Force was found dead inside his barracks at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City Thursday, police said yesterday.
The Southern Police District Station 1 identified the victim as Sergeant Ferdinand Maala, an aircraft tow tug driver of the PAF 505th Search and Rescue Group, of Visayas Ave., Quezon City.
Maala’s body was discovered at about 7:20 a.m. by aircraft maintenance officer Capt. Darren Callado, police said.
Initial investigation disclosed that Callado was waking up Maala who was supposed to bring out an aircraft using the tow tug that time. However, after shaking the victim’s body several times, Callado observed Maala was already stiff and cold.
Callado checked Maala’s pulse and tried to revive him but to no avail. He asked assistance from his companions and brought the victim to their hospital where Maala was declared dead on arrival.
SPO2 Joel Landicho, case investigator, disclosed that they are still waiting for the autopsy result to determine the cause of death. However, police believe Maala died from natural causes and there was no foul play involved.
Landicho said the victim was said to have hypertension that could be the possible cause of his death.
Police learned from witnesses that Maala was last seen watching television at about 1:30 a.m. the same day.
To them, it's chance to pass Congress is not only slim but dims everyday as the month of August is ending and September comes in so fast. In fact, one group including some legal minds have already urged the MILF to give up on pushing for the proposed law. It is a lost case, they argued, and therefore the MILF should disengage. They cited the two substitute bills in the House and the Senate which are far cry from the original BBL.
Similarly, one leader of the other Moro liberation organization had told the MILF that the BBL is a hopeless case to pursue, citing their bad experience with the government. “What they did to us, they will do it to you,” he warned. Another prominent media practitioner criticized the MILF for trusting the government too much. “There is no more time left for the BBL to pass Congress,” she confidently asserted.
With calmness and patience, the MILF has listened to all these pushing or bashing. While they are not taken as veritable truth, they are not passed on to the other ear either. Any idea has to be treated with respect. We said to our self: “The day of reckoning is not far away. We will know who is correct and who is wrong. Let us wait for that.”
But the necessary question is. If the MILF is to disengage right now, what are the implications and alternatives? Who will be on the bad side of history? Truth is that many a person criticizes an idea or decision, but he or she has nothing to offer. Often their decision is caused by emotions and not a well-thought-out idea.
The MILF has its own way of looking at every situation. It does not only examine the positive side but the negative side as well. If there is a threat there is also opportunity. If other people including some so-called intellectuals or academicians often view any given situation one-sidedly, the MILF views it objectively. Subjectivism is never a good trait in a revolutionary struggle, or rigidity has any place in it. The fact that the MILF has withstood all the trials and tribulations for more than four decades of incessant struggle attests to its staying power and correctness of its ideological, political, and organizational lines. The leadership may not all be highly educated but when it comes to a revolutionary struggle they can hardly be equaled. The track record of the MILF speaks for itself.
The BBL is not yet dead on track. There is still chance for it to pass Congress. President Benigno Aquino III will deliver; we still believe in this. We also trust the collective wisdom of Congress to pass the proposed law, a good BBL.
On many occasions, the MILF has been in a situation fraught with dangers. But it never gave up; it never said die. No one knows exactly what is in the offing. Only God does.