Sangil: A recollection of those men in uniform

Max Sangil

I ENJOY reading the articles of retired Air Force General Ramon Farolan whenever he writes about his memories when he was still a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). He belongs to Class 1956.

One of his mistahs JP Santos married my cousin Mining Dizon Tadeo of Porac. (My mother is Beatriz Tadeo Lumanlan, and first cousin of Simon Tadeo, Atsing Mining's father). I have known the other members of Class '56, like the late Colonel Jimmy Venago and Tony Fernando who both served as head of the Mt. Pinatubo Commission which was based for some years inside Clark Freeport.

Today, the latest count among police and military officials under the Duterte administration are more than 60. Most of them holding key positions. PMA is a good source of talents. My best friend, former Flag-Officer-in-Command retired Vice Admiral Ferdinand "Toto" Golez of class 76, brother of former Congressman Roilo Golez said ayers are out of police and military service once they reach age 56. They are too young to be out of work.

Another close friend, Lieutenant General Greg Catapang, PMA class 1982 became AFP chief of staff, then served as director of the Bases Conversion Development Authority

Another very close friend of mine and member of our Wednesday Club, Colonel Pete Retirado '83 recently retired. They are too young to be retiring in their hometowns

In my early years as a reporter covering Camp Olivas for Daily Star, Silvestre Songco of Manila Times, Tony Torres of Manila Bulletin, Hector Soto of Evening News, Ben Gamos of Manila Chronicle and Fred Roxas of Philippine News Service were main fixtures at the camp.

With these veteran reporters I met, talked and in some instances had drinking sessions with these military and police officials. Some were mere acquaintances.

One of the most colorful was Amado “Spines” Espino of class '72. He was credited for the capture of the most wanted NPA leaders in the seventies, Bernabe Buscayno alias Commander Dante. He never reached a general rank but became congressman and governor of Pangasinan.

My list of PMAyers assigned here is quite long, and this tight column space of this paper cannot accommodate them all. Maybe in later time, with further research we can write a book about them.

Some names you and I remember were Dodong Resos, Sammy Tomas, Ador De Guzman, Ed Batalla, Vic Garcia, Tom Diaz, Emilio Zerrudo, Felizardo Tanabe, Tom Manlongat, Oscar Florendo, Valerio Perez, Eduardo Batalla, Vicente Tongson, Ed Manaay, Hermogenes Ebdane and many more.

All these men in uniform passed the portals of Camp Olivas. I can imagine if they are still young and in uniform, the Marawi siege which was entering its third months, may have ended in fifteen days.


- President Duterte should order CDC President Noel Manankil to return to work. The president was given wrong information about Manankil.

- Remember when President Duterte made a mea culpa when he wrongly announced that then Pangasinan Amado Espino was involved in drug trade? He apologized to Espino. That's being gentleman of the president.

- The Angeles City traffic enforcers should be fielded at the Friendship Highway on the section of the Korean town. The road was expanded as if just to become a parking area for those business establishments there. Move now please.