Matatag Soldier dies securing Mt. Hilong- Hilong

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CABADBARAN CITY, July 31 – A native soldier of Lanao del Sur, Pfc. Marlon A. Palahang was Killed-In-Action (KIA) during an encounter with the NPA terrorists believed to be elements of Guerilla Front Committee 21 under the North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee in the hinterlands of Mt. Hilong- Hilong, Brgy. Mahaba, Cabadbaran City of Agusan del Norte on the afternoon of July 25, 2019.

Pfc Palahang is a graduate of Candidate Soldier Course Class 356 “Maidlap” of 2014 and has rendered almost five years in the service. He also underwent different training on marksmanship and mortar gunnery training and received various awards and commendations from his commanders.

According to his Company Commander, “ Pfc Palahang was a great soldier who knew how to respect his superiors and get along with his fellows. I never had a problem with him, especially in terms of works to do, he knew how to obey without murmurings and complaining. ”

Cpl James M Fabrigas, one of his classmates and buddy during their training said, “ Sa pipila ka tuig nga nag-uban mi isip classmate, higala ug kauban sa trabaho, ako gayod napamatud-an ang iyang pagkamaayong tao. Hilumon siya pero mamatikdan gani ka niya nga naay problima naa siya permi nga mutambag ug mudasig. (In the many years that we’ve been classmates, friends and comrades, I have seen and proven how good and kind he is. He is just a quiet person, but when he recognizes that you have a problem, he’ll surely be there to give you advice and cheer you up.)”

The family of the deceased soldier was already informed of his death. Jennifer, the wife of Pfc Palahang boldly said in her statement, “He was a very good husband and father to me and our son. He never neglected his responsibility to his parents and siblings, being the breadwinner of their family.”

“Even though I already know the risk that comes with my husband’s work, I still cannot deny how hard it is for me to believe and accept his death, especially that we’ve just been married last June 2019 and we have an 8 month-old baby to raise. It is very hard,” Jennifer added.

Lt.Col. Isagani O. Criste, Commanding Officer of 29th Infantry “Matatag” Battalion expressed his grief and comfort to the family of late Pfc Palahang in his statement, “ I am deeply saddened to lose a very good and dedicated member of my troops. It pricks my heart to the very core every time a soldier falls and dies. But we know that as a soldier we pledge to give our whole life, even accept death just for the sake of serving the people and the country. You see, it’s never that easy, nor will it ever be, but in the end, I hope everyone will see and realize the great worth of each soldier’s sacrifice. “

“To the family of late Pfc Palahang, my deepest condolences. I know words aren’t enough to heal your hearts and give you comfort at this time of grieving. But please know that we also feel your heartaches and pains. To my troops, I know it hurts you too, but I hope this will not be a reason for you to give up the fight and cause you to lose your morale, but rather let him be our inspiration to stand up again and continue on with the cause which we have started,” Criste ended.