TY and ‘bye, Pomfret:’ Marines no cry-babies

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AS a Makati Elem pupil and Rizal Hi stude, I read about iconic Caloy Loyzaga being called “Pomfret,” among other monickers. Jack Pomfret was a legendary athlete in Canada, all-around, and was a member of four national basketball teams, including Canada’s 1948 cage Olympic delegation in London (where Fil-Brit Victoria! Manalo!! Dravis won two diving golds; father, musikero from Orani, Bataan who migrated to the US).

The other morning, King Caloy left for a better world.

Mendiola was OK in the 50’s. I entered San Beda in 1955, when Caloy led the Red Lions in winning, after three championships, the coveted Zamora trophy, at a time when there were so many Yo-Soy-Bososoy Types among the priests, teachers and students; we sang with fervor “cantemos al amor de los amores, cantemos al Senor” or “no mas amor que el tuyo” in our Friday Benediction or in our January procession for Santo Niño. We will remember him when we join this Sunday’s Mendiola procession. His son Chito says Caloy was a good family man, a Big Difference truly, given what we see today.

Wake in Arlington, Araneta Avenue, with evening Masses at seven. Cremation Monday. Mass in San Beda Mendiola Monday at seven pm for a final sentimental journey home.


TYTYTYTYTY, Your Highness, we cannot thank and honor you enough, for what you have done for the country.

Pomfret, a patriotic fellow Bedan of the Century.

* * *

Are we overdoing honoring the Mamasapano 44? Or not honoring others enough?

I read Mon Tulfo’s PDI column last Tuesday titled “The spoiled SAF 44 families,” with sad confirmatory details (if not politically correct to criticize; not the first time as Mon was with us, after going to California to probe, in asserting that Hubert Webb was thousands of miles away when the Vizconde Massacre occurred; the NBI vowed to go there too, but never did, maybe fearful of spoiling a good story).

One SAF widow got P300T for an Internet cafe, Mon wrote. One mother got P20M for the concreting of a feeder road in a far-flung village.

Nearly daily, I read about another soldier or cop killed in line of duty. Do the PNP, Napolcom, Senate, House, DSWD, NHA, DepEd, DOH, Philhealth and private donors fall all over themselves to help the grieving widows and orphans? Did Sarah, the five-year-old Muslim girl killed in Mamasapano, get anything from Manila?

No publicity?
No PR value?

Something good in people who help unadvertised, as I would hear about FPJ, donating in others’ names.

Another fellow patriotic Bedan of the Century; when the awarding rites took place, I met him, in 2001. First time. Humility personified.

The Mamasapano operation succeeded—caused, occasioned or resulted in — taking out terrorist Marwan (with $5M on his head as bounty) — but the troopers got ambushed when returning to base. Mon mentioned 392 SAF troops just sitting or lying on a highway when Army reinforcements came. Were they waiting for a direct command from PNoy? How practical is it in the real world?

Did the PNP’s SAF want to corner the glory of taking out Marwan? The military was shut out.

Then, what happened to the $5M reward? Uncollected still? Can we speak for the US..?

These llustrate what the new inquiry should help determine and lay to rest. We can then move on. Finally.

But, PNoy should not go to the Senate. He answers to his conscience and history. As JFK had to answer re Bay of Pigs, all the way to Clinton and Black Hawk Down. In the October 23, 1983 Beirut attacks, 220 U.S. Marines were killed in their barracks, not in combat initiated by them, unlike in Mamasapano. Did anyone blame Reagan?

Death is a daily risk of troopers. Mothers and wives should ask their sons and husbands to get out of the service if they would rather have them die of old age.

We may not overdo honoring and benefiting the SAF troopers but let us not forget the other casualties in the various insurgencies.

Mon categorically concluded PNoy made a mistake “by spoiling the families of the slain commandos.”

We should not bother to sue the Mamasapano killers. They should be hunted down and sent to the virgins in paradise. Preferably by Marines who “don’t complain or ask for benefits,” said highly principled Major General Alexander Balutan, who once defied GMA and testified in the Senate on 2004 election cheating.

The police and the military are two distinct concepts. 44 a big deal? 220 Marines killed in Beirut. It is the duty of the Marine to get the foe, die for his country or cause, even if it would be his supreme sacrifice. That is his code or role.

* * *

Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach – am a fan, aren’t we all? – has a role in the Super Bowl, which few Pinoys can tell from a hole in the ground. There’s a great deal of concern about concussions in pro football. Maybe not as much as in boxing, McGeehan’s Manly Art of Modified Murder. You get hit in the head often and you may fantasize about being a Senator, without having to campaign, and without telling the electorate your stand on issues such as the BBL, and focus instead on making money. You discover that if you have billions, you become a Man of Respect, but not necessarily to Kim Henares.

The House has moved to exempt Pia from tax from her income, which I doubt would reach a billion, at which I’d cap it. But, not for other mega-billionaires.

Will Pia have a crash course on “CTE, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy,” “first down,” “bootleg play,” etc.? A man, and the term embraces woman, must know his limitations. Even legends. Such as the One who left us the other morning, Pomfret, who became a true worthy Legend in his own time.

We must be leery or wary of Multi-Tasking Legends in their own minds.

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3 Comments

  1. General Balutan…. In the light of the Senate reinvestigation of Mamasapano incident and the grieving relatives of SAF44: Four (4) significant battles; 1) The Fall of Camp Abubakar, Maguindanao, July 2000 2) The capture of Camp Belal, LDN, May 2000. 3) Assault in Camp Rajahmuda Complex, Pikit, North Cot, June 2003. 4) Controversial Nat’l Election in Lanao Del Sur May 2004. In all these battles, several marines/soldiers offered precious lives yet they did not complain, no cry for justice, fringe benefits nor blame anyone. We solemnly buried our dead heroes and consoled the many wounded, wiped our tears and fought again. For we know well the meaning of our sacred oath for sake of our Motherland

  2. Spoiled SAF families? The government should present a detailed accounting of those payouts. Apparently the government just to appease them promised the stars and the moon. Now, it seems that all that they received so far were official benefits to which the soldiers were entitled, meaning the government should grant it to them because it is their due, not out of the kindness of any government official. Outside of official benefits, what did the government give?