Sunday, December 21, 2008

Life in the outskirts

It was about eleven in the morning when i got the news. A militiaman was shot dead by more or less ten rebels while he was preparing his land for planting at sitio Managa, Bansalan, DAvao del Sur. The news spread accross the barrio when the laborer hired by the militiaman survived the ambush and was able to seek help.
My team immediately went to the area but the military stopped us from entering the site. Military fears rebels might just be around the site for another round of ambuh. We were advised to wait for the camp commander for further instructions. Eager to get the exclusive story, my team waited for more than two hours before the military officer arrived.

Within that period of waiting, i was able to talk to some militiamen in the camp. I discovered, the incident is the fourth attack the rebels made this year, and the fourth death among their comrades. As we talk, i could not avoid to see the sadness in their eyes. But they do'nt want people to see that. People should percieve them as alert and active all the time. At night, as they lay, their body is at rest, but their mind and senses are alive in case of eventualities. With the increasing number of casualty among them, the soldiers are still determined to fight for the country. One soldier showed me one of his secret weapon. He said, it kept him alive since he entered the military. He pulled it out of his pocket and raised it in my face. The soldier said, He gives me strenght and courage in defending my fellowmen.

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