By Jon Reyes
Late last month, the Philippines suffered a tragic loss. Forty-four anti-terror police commandos risked their lives to protect their people, fighting for their country. Those fallen heroes died at the hands of a rebel group in Maguindanao, and the death of those 44 servicemen marked the Philippines’ largest single-day combat loss in recent history.
On behalf of Winnipeg and our Filipino community, I must express how deeply sadden we are by this cruel and heartbreaking event. As a former service member of Canada and man of Filipino descent, it pains me to hear about my fellow comrades passing. Near or far, we are brothers bonded by our passion to protect, respect and represent the countries we call home.
Their bravery in the face of danger, commitment to protecting their country, and unwavering fighting spirit resonate with us today. In spite of the violent warfare, their selflessness shines a hopeful light on a brighter, peaceful future.
May you all rest in peace, and be fiercely remembered as the heroes you are.
“They have proven that peace is always worth dying for. Here in Winnipeg, we salute you for the rest of our lives. Salamat sa ating mga tagaligtas! Salamat sa ating mga tunay na bagong bayani!”
– Marby John Aguilar Gutierrez
Photos by Leo Henry Licardo