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A Hero in Iligan City
« on: October 13, 2008, 05:58:57 AM »
By Vincent Labial
Manila Bulletin

Camp Sultan, Iligan City — After his name was called, Mang Ireneo tried his best to hold back his tears while going up the stage to accept a posthumous award for his slain son from the commander-in-chief herself President Arroyo.

The President honored the members of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who gallantly fought against the elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) some months back–both the living and the fallen ones.

But no matter how Mang Ireneo tried to control his emotions, tears trickled down his cheeks while receiving the medal of bravery from the President.

Somehow, memories from as way back as 20 years when Mang Ireneo was still the active Master Sergeant Ireneo Salvacion of Philippine Army’s 3rd Division flashed in his mind.

After going down the makeshift stage at a village where the ceremony was held, he couldn’t help but remember the years when his young son Dexter idolized him as a brave AFP soldier, which later led Dexter to follow his footsteps.

"It was really his personal choice. Ever since he was a boy, he wanted to be a member of the armed forces," recalled Mang Ireneo.

With enough perseverance and hard work, Dexter eventually realized his childhood dream of playing cops and robbers for real.

He then became Police Officer 1 Dexter Salvacion of the Philippine National Police–the pride of Barangay Tambo in Iligan, and the source of joy of the Salvacion family.

However, this glory became so short on the fateful day of Aug. 18 this year after the Salvacion family received a heartbreaking news from Dexter’s former classmate.

The young but brave Dexter was among the casualties when MILF rebels attacked the nearby town of Kolambogan.

At first, Dexter’s family could not believe the report, that it was their sonDexter, their beloved Dodong Dexter.

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