Ex-marine recounts ‘up-and-down’ career-A A +A
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
A BEMEDALLED former marine who ran and lost in the senatorial race last May was in Cebu yesterday to thank his supporters.
Col. Ariel Querubin had lunch with friends, relatives and members of the Mason and Guardians.
He spoke about the time he was left for dead when a rocket exploded near him during the December coup d’etat in 1989 against then president Corazon Aquino.
He was placed in the morgue with other casualties, when a doctor noticed his finger twitching. The doctor also spotted his ring, which classified him as an officer, so he was rushed to the hospital.
There he was treated, but he escaped, was captured and then imprisoned.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the Lord has all the while been preparing me for public service. I have been imprisoned as a soldier, but I fully regained the honor after having been awarded the Medal of Valor in 2001,” he said.
So how will he address the problems of the military and the country, considering he fought government troops twice and he was imprisoned for his stand twice?
“We should address the root cause in the fight against insurgency, address poverty, corruption, abuses and injustice,” he said.
He said discipline is the best weapon against insurgency.
“Tayo mismo (We ourselves), we reform ourselves and our soldiers,” he said.
He said a disciplined officer and soldier will erase the community’s distrust in the military.
He said the public has this impression of public officials, “maliit ang sahod, malaki ang kita (a small salary but big earnings).”
‘Will of God’
Querubin considered his loss last May as a “will of God” because he gets to spend his time with his family after his release from over four years of imprisonment. Had he won, he wouldn’t have had the time.
Querubin is one of the most bemedalled officers in Philippine history, earning all the awards the military could give, except for the “Wounded Personnel Medal” because he was fighting against the army at the time he almost got killed.
He also earned the “Medal of Valor” despite fighting against fellow soldiers in 1989 and 2006.
Querubin also underwent several military trainings abroad, and is willing to share his expertise with the current administration. Although, he admitted he has yet to receive an invitation from President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, the son of the president he wanted to topple in 1989.
Querubin was released from detention last July. He was arrested in connection with a failed attempt to overthrow the administration of former president Gloria Arroyo.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 18, 2010.