Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume III, Number 43 November 30 - December 6, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
Survivor Paralyzed for Life
Massacre survivor Christopher Grado, 24, will be paralyzed for life. And he doesn’t know it yet. He was one of two persons who survived the Oct. 9 massacre in Tangub City, perpetrated allegedly by members of the Bravo Company, 5th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.
MARS S. MARATA
CITY- Massacre survivor Christopher Grado, 24, will be paralyzed for life. And
he doesn’t know it yet.
bullet from an M-16 rifle hit the extremities of Christopher's spinal column,
rendering it incapable of supporting his body. His doctor, Dr. Rommel Navarro,
an orthopedic surgeon of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan
de Oro City, said replacing it with an artificial device will not heal the
severely damaged skeleton that protects the spinal cord and holds the human's
was one of two persons who survived the Oct. 9 massacre in Tangub City,
perpetrated allegedly by members of the Bravo Company, 5th Infantry Battalion,
Philippine Army based in the same area. He sustained several gunshot wounds in
the abdomen, with one of the bullets hitting his spinal column. Christopher is
now confined at the NMMC after being treated at the Dr. Hilarion Ramiro
over how he will take the news, relatives have yet to tell him that he will be
immobilized for the rest of his life. Christopher has in fact reportedly been
all smiles every time his relatives and friends would visit him. His mother,
called Manang Lily, does not know how to prepare her son to the painful truth.
commander Lt. Col. Eduardo Tardio claimed that on Oct. 8, he received reports
that a squad of guerrillas are conducting meetings with the farmers in Barangay
(village) Mangga, Tangub City.
that Grado’s family was serving as host to the NPAs, the soldiers surrounded
the Grados’ house. But aside from six NPA members, also inside were husband
and wife Lily and Dodo Grado, grandson Michael Zoilo, 18, and children Loida,
25, and Christopher.
around 4:30 a.m. the following day, gunfire disrupted Mangga's tranquil dawn.
After around 15 minutes, two guerillas and one civilian lay dead. Ka Daryl,
alleged commanding officer of an NPA unit, was brought to the hospital but died
two days later due to fatal wounds in the stomach. The two other guerrillas and
Loida, Christopher's sister survived after being brought to the hospital.
Lt. Cahayon, who headed the operation, said they fired a warning shot but the
NPA guerrillas fought back so they fired at the rebels without letup. There was
no military casualty. Recovered from the rebels were one Ingram, one .45 and .22
according to the survivors and other witnesses interviewed on Oct. 13 by a
fact-finding mission team, what happened in Tangub was a massacre.
was no warning shot and the civilians were not allowed to seek for their
safety," said Bishop Warlito Baldomero of the Philippine Independent Church
(PIC) who headed the mission's negotiating panel organized by the human rights
alliance Karapatan-Western Mindanao.
witness said the guerillas did not die right away but when the military found
them, they “finished them off.”
bishop added that contrary to the military’s claim, the NPA fighters were not
able to return fire based on their inspection of the site and interviews.
is the seventh of eight children. He was not able to pursue a college education
due to poverty and helped his aging parents earn a living by farming a tenanted
parcel of coconut farmland.
parents have no plans to file a complaint against the soldiers. Manang Lily said
in Cebuano, "They still keep on visiting us here," alluding to the
soldiers. She said, "We are afraid." She also said she no longer hopes
to get justice for her loved ones and their severely damaged small house.
estimated the cost of the damaged house and other personal belongings to be
about P200,000. With no house in which to live in, the Grado family has sought
temporary shelter at their daughter’s house in another barangay.
The International Red Cross has assumed all the hospital bills for the massacre victims. Bulatlat.com