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Unsung Hero of Northern Mindanao, Remembered on Araw ng Kagitingan

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403rd Infantry Brigade commemorated the Araw ng Kagitingan with the Wreath-Laying Ceremony at the Bust monument of Col Osito Bahian in Malaybalay,Bukidnon. Today, April 9, 2019 or exactly 34 years after his death, Col Bahian was remembered and honored through a 21 Gun Salute tendered by soldiers of 403rd Infantry Brigade with the presence of his daughters Mrs. Ann Lucille Bahian Adag and Mrs Aileen Marie Bahian Cruzado. His son, Police Colonel Robert Roy Bahian, now serving as Provincial Director of Camiguin Privincial Police Office was supposed to attend but skipped the event to attend another ceremony.

Col Bahian hails from Tuburan, El Salvador City, he was born on October 7, 1929. In college days, he joined, was very active and completed the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) curriculum and commissioned in the reserve force of the Philippine Army.

He became teacher and later as Priincipal of Xavier de Initao High School before becoming an Instructor at San Isidro College in Malaybalay City. He was then called to active duty and joined the Philippine Army on March 1, 1969.

He once served as Commandant of Central Mindanao University as Commanding Officer of 1107th Community Home Defence Center. A distinguished ROTC graduate, he excelled and served the Philippine Army well with his nationalism and patriotism nurtured by the ROTC program.

On April 9, 1985, while serving as Battalion Commander of 30th Infantry Battalion, he was killed in an ambush by NPA terrorists in Brgy Tungao, Butuan City along with 8 other army soldiers. He was on his way to a supposed peace negotiation with the NPA when dissident NPA terrorists treacherously fired at their convoy in what appeared to be a teap set by the CPP-NPA. The soldiers fought but Col Bahian didnot survive being riddled with bullets from the traitors. Col Bahian epitomizes honesty and sincerity of the Philippine Army. Directly oppossite to the trechearous and dishonest local communist terrorists.

As a tribute to a fallen hero, the Batasang Pambansa promulgated Batas Pambansa Bilang 6724 on 27 April 1986 renaming the military reservation in Malaybalay City, Bukidnin into Camp Osito Bahian. No less than the Philipoine Congress at that time have recognized the exemplary duty with courage, honor and dedication of the late Col Osito Bahian..

Col Osito Bahian’s hereoism inspired his sons to join the uniform service.
Robert Roy Bahian entered the Philipoine National Police Academy and graduated in 1991. He is now the uncumbemt PD of Camiguin Province. His youngest son Neil Osito Bahian was admitted into the PMA and graduated in 1995. Unfortunately in 1999, Captain Neil Osito Bahian, then an Instructor Pilot in the Philippine Air Forced, died whem his trainer aircraft crashed in Batangas.

Col Edgardo De Leon, 403Bde Commander, in his tribute said: “Today as we commemorate the start of Bataan’s Death March, let us not forget to remember that April 9 as the day when our very own modern day hero sacrificed his life in the name of peace. His dream of ending the Local Communist Armed Conflict through localized peace talks remains and will continue. 34 years ago, Col Bahian made the supreme sacrifice to show sincerity in oeqce negotiation. It is now up the NPA to reciprocate. Mula noon hanggang ngayon, bukas ang pinto ng Philippjne Army na tanggapin amg pagbabalik loob ng mga rebelde para sa pagbabagong buhay.”

Mrs Ann Lucille Bahian Adag, his eldest daughter, in her message called on all Filipinos to unite for a peaceful and progressive nation. She expressed remorse that fellow Filipinos are fighting each other causing lost of lives and damage to properties. She praised the soldiers for their dedicated service as she called on them to continue to keep the legacies left by her father Col Osito Bahian and her brother Captain Neil Osito Bahian – truthful and dedicated service to the country and people.

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