October 7, 2022

When we talk about “heroes”, we usually think of the national heroes whose names appear in history books.

However, there are many kinds of heroes existing in our communities.

One of which are the members of the uniformed services who have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting the land we are living in.

Unfortunately, in their line, they have that unfortunate definition of a hero because there are members who went ahead in the name of protecting the people from the armed groups, who sow fear and destruction in the communities.

As these members of the uniformed services took their oath to this country, their duties of becoming frontliners during disasters, events, or emergencies begin and are mandated to serve the country and the Filipinos even beyond the call of duty.

As frontliners, they are the first ones to be deployed in emergencies to respond to accidents, conduct checkpoints, and deliver relief goods to affected areas or communities. This is how difficult their duty is but they chose to serve the people.

They are the heroes of their own families for choosing to serve other people and having little time for their children.

Just recently, a gunfight between government forces and armed rebels ensued in Apayao that resulted in the death of two Army personnel.

While the fallen heroes are honored, it is also important that Filipinos do something to help the government in its fight against insurgency and terrorism.

People should not only condemn but also put their acts together in convincing armed groups to lay down their arms, come home, live in peace, and have their issues against the government be addressed peacefully.

It is when we act properly and educate more people about the government-led “whole of the nation” approach that we could help put a stop to the series of gunfights that claimed lives from both sides.

May this serve as an eye opener to the public that we have our duties and responsibilities as citizens to cooperate and work together to achieve lasting peace in our country. — JANINE A. MARTIN, Tadian, Mountain Province